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When compared to a decade ago, the way we conduct business has altered dramatically. While businessmen and women used to carry bulky briefcases and quarters for the pay phone, we can now access all of our payroll, purchase order, inventory spreadsheets, and end-of-day summary from our mobile device. Because of the Internet’s “cloud,” we have this wonderful benefit. So, what exactly is the cloud, and is your data secure?

 Internet Cloud

Let’s go over some fundamentals first, since technology may be perplexing for many of us. “The cloud” refers to networks that employ Internet-connected devices to store, access, and distribute data. In one poll, 50% of participants indicated they didn’t utilise cloud services, yet 95% said they used Facebook, Gmail, and GoogleDocs on a daily basis. Yes, all of these online tools depend on the cloud, so even if you don’t believe you use it or understand what it is, chances are you are enjoying the benefits of cloud technology if you do anything online (including reading this blog).

The second thing you should be aware of is that there are two sorts of cloud networks available:

1) A public cloud stores all of the information you share with the world in a cloud service that is available to everyone, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; and

2) A private cloud is a one-of-a-kind network built by the user or a cloud service provider.

For example, if you use a file storage service like Box or Dropbox, they have their own cloud that non-subscribers cannot access.

With hackers posing a hazard on par with Ebola, how secure is your data on the cloud? In cloud computing, there are two key forms of security threats: password vulnerability and en-route exposure. Hackers prefer username-password combinations over several email addresses using the same password, so vary it up. Change your username and create complex passwords with numbers, symbols, and capital letters. (As a side aside, are you concerned that you’ll forget all those names and passwords? In the app store, look for iPassword Manager, mSecure Password Manager, or Keeper Password and Data Vault. (Problem solved!

Another safety is that many cloud service providers encrypt files on a user’s computer or device before uploading and transferring the data to the cloud. This is accomplished via the use of a secure socket layer (SSL) Internet connection. The files remain encrypted, necessitating the usage of a key provided by the cloud service providers to unlock the data anytime the user requires it.

However, there are still hazards associated with employing cloud-based technologies. BestBuy.com was even featured as a customer on Google’s Cloud Platform website (but Best Buy not longer uses these services after their data breach). Even while he actively supports the cloud,

If a hacker gains access to your information, you must immediately call an Internet lawyer for a forensic investigation, assistance in installing firewalls, and determination of whether the security breach was an inside job. Internet attorneys may also assist you in communicating with your clients or customers and guiding you through the necessary measures.

With its capacity to access information from anywhere, the cloud makes corporate operations more simpler, but some considerations should not be disregarded. You may and should take use of this revolutionary technology, but first ensure that your data is safe.