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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Post Using the cloud to store data etc.

    I am wondering if it is "secure" to store data, e.g. photos and other stuff in the "cloud"; not having used it to date. Is it safe in this regard? Are there any precautions one should take?
    TX casso

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  3. #2
    Star Lounger
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    Ummm...I think I'm out of my depth. I've been trying to research how to use the cloud; however the more I read, the more confused I get. It seems to me that using the cloud to store data is really for businesses and not for little old home users like me. I am sure I have had "offers" to store data in the cloud before, but I did not take much notice. I might have to do some more research.
    casso

  4. #3
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    I don't see why it would be for businesses only. I use the cloud both to store documents shared with other people and as a backup of some important files.
    On the question whether it is secure, I wouldn't use the cloud as the single means to backup essential data and the provider I use for my backups allows me to prevent anyone, even their employees, access to the data, so I feel it provides reasonable reassurance on the safety and privacy of my data.
    Rui
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  6. #4
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    Online backup can be very secure, more secure than having data at home in fact. It can also be rather insecure, depending on the strength of a password and not encrypted while being backed up. Also, some free offerings such as SkyDrive will occasionally scan your data with software programs looking for certain files that might be recognized as illegal content of one sort or another that violates their terms of service; or worse.

    A reputable company such as Mozy.com will encrypt your data both during backup and while it resides on their servers. You can even try them out and get a handle on the process by taking advantage of their 2 gigs for free storage plan.

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  8. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I read a while ago that some files, of shall we say less than family orientation, were deleted from SkyDrive. Since I do not store these type files (pictures) on SkyDrive, I do not have any personal experience with them. It has been a while so my recollection of the circumstances may be a little fuzzy! A hazard of advancing years, LOL!

    When I first started on SkyDrive, it seems there were approx. 2 GB storage offered for free (This may have been on the precursor to SkyDrive). A while back, when SkyDrive was started, those of us who were already signed up, were given the chance to upgrade to 25 GB of free storage. I believe the free storage offer is now considerable less than 25 GB.
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  10. #6
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    Thanks to those who posted; I'm starting to understand. I will have a look at SkyDrive and Mozy.
    casso

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    See SkyDrive on Reddit: notes from the Ask Me Anything for a statement from Microsoft about private and shared content in SkyDrive. There is also a link to the complete Reddit Q&A session. The Microsoft personnel in the Q&A are Omar Shahine and Mona Akmal both Program Managers in the SkyDrive area.

    I agree with Rui, about any cloud backup solution not being the only place your files are kept even though Microsoft and other reputable providers most likely do a better job than most users about redundancy and backup. I also know that Microsoft runs different types of security tests constantly on their systems not just once in a while.

    Joe

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    I think you need to decide what are your goals regarding the use of the cloud and the amount of storage you will need to reach those goals. Once they are defined, you can then try and find the best provider for them.

    SkyDrive offers one the best amounts of free storage with new accounts: 7GB. There are other providers who offer a bit less free storage. For backups, there are other providers. If you are interested, you probably should pick one that looks solid enough to last a few years. I use Cubby, from LogMeIn, an established player in online services. There are other known backup providers, such as Carbonite, that provide backup solutions that may be of use, especially if you want to backup most of what you keep in your disks.
    As I said, I would start be defining the goals for your cloud use and then see what possibilities are offered by the different known providers.
    Rui
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    If you're concerned about confidentiality, I would be very cautious about storing things in the cloud. For example, if you are a doctor, I wouldn't recommend storing patient information in the cloud. However, a church youth group, where all the members share group information, pictures, etc, would be an ideal use for the cloud, because none of the information is confidential, and all of the information is intended to be shared.

    If the information is confidential, make sure that whatever cloud service you use has good security procedures and rules in place. And read user reviews about the service you are considering using, to see what others think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    If you're concerned about confidentiality, I would be very cautious about storing things in the cloud. For example, if you are a doctor, I wouldn't recommend storing patient information in the cloud. However, a church youth group, where all the members share group information, pictures, etc, would be an ideal use for the cloud, because none of the information is confidential, and all of the information is intended to be shared.

    If the information is confidential, make sure that whatever cloud service you use has good security procedures and rules in place. And read user reviews about the service you are considering using, to see what others think about it.
    If you are a doctor or other professional whose livelyhood depends on adherence to one or more regulations you should be looking at one of the Office 365 SKUs for businesses if you are looking for a cloud solution. Office 365 has got all sorts of certifications both US & European regulations but you must be using a business SKU.

    Joe

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    And there's this.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  21. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    And there's this.
    Although Microsoft will get a lot of flak for it, the service won't really change but in name...
    Rui
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  22. #13
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    I have Sky Drive as an app in Windows 8 and it seems to have set up some sort of "account" in my computer's name [interesting about the new name]. I will explore further. Thanks to all.
    Bob

  23. #14
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    Having had a good look at Sky Drive and what it can be used for; I am going to experiment with storing some of my data on it. I will not however store data I would not like others to get hold of. I might use it to "archive" some old documents and perhaps some photos. That's about it. I thank everybody for their comments.
    Bob

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    Different people will have different opinions, but I don't have issues with storing private documents on SkyDrive. If you really want to ensure total privacy, you can always zip the documents with encryption and the associated password protection.

    This said, for me, the issue with SkyDrive is more their client. I don't like it. SkyDrive is great for sharing documents with other people, while you work on them, but that is the only use I have for it. For backup, I prefer Cubby, which features an interface very much like a previous Microsoft cloud backup app - Live Mesh - which was abandoned for the current horrible client.
    Rui
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