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UP IN THE CLOUD

Technology can go anywhere with you, and with the cloud, your precious photos and important documents can too. Here’s how to get started.

                                                                                                                    

While it may conjure images of a large, fluffy mass of watery vapour, the cloud is grounded in several remote computer (server) networks, which allow you to store and access data over the Internet, rather than on your computer’s hard drive.

It’s a great way to back up and share all of those photos and documents that are most important to you. And if you use social media, or email services such as Gmail, you’ve already been using the cloud without even realising it.

CLOUD BENEFITS

  1. Uploading your files to the cloud liberates them from a single device: access them on demand, using any device with an internet connection.
  2. Peace of mind: even if your device breaks, or you leave your belongings behind, you’ll still have a copy of them. This is especially important for photos or documents.
  3. It’s reliable: cloud providers have several safety nets in place to ensure that your data is in tact and accessible, even if the some of the servers are down.        
  4. As long as you have the app on your devices, you have the option to upload les to the cloud automatically so that they’re always up to date.

A SAFE DATA HAVEN

Despite concerns that other people might access the data you’ve uploaded, reputable cloud providers have several safeguards in place to protect your data.

One of the primary features is encryption, so that only a user with an encryption key (linked to your account login) can access your data.

Although the cloud itself is safe, here are some things that you can do to secure your account:

  1. Avoid sharing personal details on public computers or Wi-Fi.
  2. Use a different username for different services, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.                          
  3. Try to avoid spam emails: be wary of any unexpected emails from unknown sources.

TOP 3 CLOUD SERVICES

1. Google Drive

- 15GB of free storage space.

- Accessible on any device

- Sync les from anywhere with an internet connection

2. Dropbox                     

- 2GB of free storage space, though more can be purchased.

- Accessible on any device with a downloadable app.

- Only syncs les that you’ve put in a specific folder. However, anything in that folder will be backed up automatically, as long as there’s an internet connection.

3. iCloud                       

- Works best for Apple users, however it’s available on all devices.

- Non-Apple users only receive 1GB free space, as opposed to 5GB if you have an Apple device. Can be difficult to centralise files if they’re scattered among apps.

- Automatically syncs les across all logged-in Apple devices.