Most cloud services can be accessed easily via a Web browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.
Current cloud services include Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Netflix, Yahoo Mail, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.
The main advantage of the cloud is you can access your information on any device that is connected to the Internet.
Also there are no space limitations such as those you might experience when using an external hard drive or flash drive, for example.
However, although cloud storage is convenient and affordable, it is essential you do your homework on the security of the company offering the storage.
For example, it must be able to encrypt all data in order to protect unauthorised users from accessing and reading the information.
Cloud services work by establishing a special folder on your computer -and installing a small program to monitor that folder.
Any file placed in that folder is then automatically synchronised with a similar folder on any other computer that has the program installed.
This enables files to be stored on a virtual hard disk on a remote server -and accessible via Web browser or a mobile app.
Therefore, if the file saved to that special folder is changed in one place – that change is automatically replicated in all of the other corresponding folders.
And the beauty of the cloud system is that files are not only backed up in multiple places – but also synced automatically.
All of these cloud-based services also work on both Windows and Mac – as well as on Apple and Android mobile devices.
Of course, backing up when using cloud-based applications is vitally important.
Cloud backup involves the invisible storage of information – such as emails, files, folders, documents, records and photos on an Internet server.
Of course, backing up your data is pointless unless you also have a rapid and reliable method of recovering and restoring the data.
A good Cloud backup and recovery solution instantly restores your data -regardless of your location or data type.
By working with a secure, managed service provider, you can also establish the necessary ‘Recovery Time Objectives’ and ‘Recovery Point Objectives’ to match your business requirements.
Once you have selected your backup schedule, your company data is saved automatically – providing a simple and unobtrusive solution to your storage and back up needs.
Of course, some users may still have nagging doubts about the long-term safety of cloud back up.
For example: are my files really safe in the cloud – or do I need to ‘back up the backup’?
The answer largely depends on your circumstances and the trustworthiness of the cloud storage service you’re using.
For essential data, you might want to think seriously about the need for backing up the cloud.
Most cloud systems back up the data they store in multiple computers across many different locations.
That way, if disaster strikes in one place, data is protected elsewhere. Storing data in multiple places is called redundancy – and the extra step of backing up the data you already store in the cloud would simply add another layer of redundancy.
However, cloud safety is always worth checking – and one good way to do this is to verify your provider’s encryption and authentication practices.
Finally, if you still harbour doubts about the safety of cloud storage, another alternative is to use the ‘old-fashioned’ ways of backing up data – such as an external hard drive, a USB (universal serial bus) flash drive, or CDs.
With Mike Peeters Media