Sunday, 7 August 2011

Put it in the Cloud

So i have been thinking about this for some time now. Most people want to put their stuff in the cloud (internet), and that is cool, does not matter if it is Google, FaceBook, Amazon, Dropbox or whatever you pick. Once you put it in the cloud, someone can get to it. "But my data is protected" you say, or, "must i have my information locked on a computer under the bed" or "your getting too old for the times". No ppl. Listen.
First, let me give you my line of thought.
  • if it is on your computer, only you and the person who breaks into your house has access to it
  • if it is on your computer and on the internet, you or the person who breaks into your house and anyone with "skills" on the internet has access to it.
It is that simple and let's keep it basic. So you if you "really" don't want someone to have a piece of information, don't put on the internet. Someone CAN get to it do matter what you think, and there is always someone smarter, more skilled than you. So you have a password, ok that may keep my dad from seeing it, but what about Pete from up the road who does a little hacking now and then and  knows how to use Google and shares his mp3 files with you and some other files that you did not know about. Again, "My service uses encryption", if you don't hold the key, that too means that the person/s given you that service has full access to you data.
Again i am not saying to be backward and not to use the cloud, just think before you upload. Those photos that you only want your "friends" to see, all it takes is for one of them to copy it and re-share it, or leave their account open, for the right person or even call their other friends who happen not to be your friends to see it. But i think you should understand where i am going with this. Understand that Trust is only as good as the person you think you are intrusting.

The Cloud Sync or Storage.
Now i live in Trinidad and the two best ISPs are Flow and TSTT and i think Flow is better (yes we leave that for some other time). If you are thinking cloud storage, this is what you should be thinking.
ME > ISP > ISP Data Line > Service.
This means there are four points to fail, and if any fails at any point you have no access to your data.

Now with sync, you have your data, and that is big, and you have it on all your sync devices, so even if you lose internet access, you still have your data and that to me is more "valuable". The wost that can happen is that you can't re-sync your data. but at least now you can work on the file, and sync later on.
If you are running a business and any one of these part go down, you are losing money. e.g i use Google for mail, and it has gone down once for 7 hr, so anything can happen.  Now we run Google mail with Outlook. What is the point in that? Simple. You still have all your mail with you even if the internet is down, you can still write that report and sent it in the outbox, when the service comes back you can send it out. You can even still look over your mail and write out replies. And Some Level of work can still happen. If we where running Gmail Web Apps, we all know what staff will say. "We have no mail, can we go home?"

With that said, i think that Apple has it right. Make all your files available to all your device and also hold the files in the cloud. Again i did not say that because i am a mac guy, but because if i where to do it, that is how i would do it. Yes i do use Google Docs and love it. But i will like to hold on to my data locally.

It comes down to how important your information is to you. If you don't want anyone to have access to it, be ole school zip it, rename it .mov, put it on a CD, run your car keys over it and put it under the bed. :)

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