“The cloud” refers to computer related data that used to take place exclusively on a local hard drive or a physical network with physical servers. Now all of that data sits on Google or Apple’s (or Amazon’s or other providers) servers. But (and its a big BUT) we get to access all that data whenever and where ever we want. For example, we commonly save documents onto the hard drive of the computer in our home or office. On the “cloud” we create and save that same document on a hard drive owned by someone else, then access it over the internet through a browser or app. You can access the cloud with any internet connection from any device.
Why the cloud is good!
- The cloud is so very convenient!
- We can access our own data (pictures, documents, music, accounts) from any device. Devices can be smartphones, ipads or tablets, laptops, whatever.
- All you need is an internet connection and your credentials (username and password) to the cloud service. This is where the cloud might be bad….
Why the cloud is bad!
- Every cloud service (google, apple, amazon, etc…) require a username and password that you need to know and if you don’t know it you are in a pickle. If you forget your password the password reset process may be painful. If you change your password, it will have to be changed on ALL OF YOUR DEVICES.
- All of your data (pictures, documents, music, accounts, etc…) is not in your control. Your data physically resides on a company’s servers.
- Not having full control of your personal data may creep you out. You are trusting a company (google, apple, amazon, etc..) to not misuse your data. You are also trusting them to keep it safe and private.
Here is a great video that explains “the cloud.”