Many of my clients are unaware that they are storing files on the cloud. In fact, many don’t really know what the cloud is, or if they should care. Let’s start with what it is.

The Cloud is a general term referring to online storage of files. These might be business or personal files that that can be accessed from anywhere on any computer or device. The files can be accessed by going to the website of the service and entering your username and password. As with the clouds in the sky, you can see these files on ‘the cloud’ from many different places.

So, what does the cloud look like to you?
Windows users will see and possibly use OneDrive. Similarly, Mac, iPad or iPhone users will have iCloud, which is Apple’s ‘cloud’ storage system. Android and ChromeOS users will see Google Drive.

There are other services which provide storage for all types of devices and computers. This includes Dropbox, Carbonite, iDrive, and CrashPlan (to name a few of the biggest). Microsoft, Apple, and Google also provide cross platform capabilities for their users.

The fact that many folks don’t know if or why they are using a cloud backup is surprising to me. As a security minded person, I like to think that a person should be aware of where their files and personal data are stored and have an understanding of how secure it is.

At a very basic level, knowing how to access these files is important. If for no other reason than to review what is there and consider what sort of security issues that might raise. Once they see what is there, they often want to make their passwords a bit stronger.

If you are using Windows, you most likely see that OneDrive is running, and if you look at the file explorer, you’ll notice a folder called OneDrive. Anything in this folder is stored on Microsoft’s ‘cloud’ storage system.

iPhone and iPad users can look at Settings / iCloud and see what files are being uploaded to iCloud. Android users would look for the Google Drive App.

What do you see in the clouds? Pink colored whimsical figures during sunrise, or dark and brooding concerns?