(+) What is the Cloud and Why Should I Care? – Part 3

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

The first part of this article, available at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=31142, explained what the cloud is. The second part, available at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=31199, described using genealogy applications in the cloud. In this third segment, I thought I would address frequently-asked questions about cloud computing. Namely, is it secure? How do I access the cloud? What does it cost to use the cloud?

Security

Is the cloud really secure? The quick answer is: nothing is ever perfect. However, data that you store privately in the cloud is probably is more secure than data stored on the hard drive in your computer at home or on your laptop computer. Let’s look at several examples.

Information stored in the cloud may be made public, or else it may remain private. In all cases, you need to first read the instructions and help pages on the cloud-based service you are thinking of using. Privacy details will always be available there.

Assuming that you choose to store your information privately, information is accessed only by use of a user name and password that you control. Some services may also allow the company’s system support personnel to see your files although these employees typically do not care about your personal information. However, many cloud-based applications provide encryption to lock out even the company’s employees. Nobody, not even system support personnel, can read your information without knowing the encryption key.

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