Category Archives: Cloud Storage

What are Ways to Secure Your Cloud Storage?

Whether your files are stored on iCloud, Dropbox, or any other remote backup service, they can always do with a bit more security. No matter what kind of assurances your cloud storage provider gave you regarding data protection, it’s just impossible to make your data 100 percent safe. Lucky for you, there are steps you can do to make your files secure.

1. Strengthen your backup service password.

Having a strong password, not just for your off-site backup service, is a step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Your password is the gateway to your important documents. If anyone can guess what it is, then you basically denied the purpose of using a cloud storage service.

Make your remote storage PIN different from your other passkeys. Every once in a while, change your old password to a new one. If it’s available, enable a two-factor authentication. This is not foolproof, but it’s the closest thing to 100 percent password protection.

2. Audit your connected devices.

Check all the connected gadgets and applications with access to your remote backup service. Typically, you can find this information in your cloud storage’s security settings. Once you’ve launched the file, review your connected computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Also, check which apps are also integrated into your storage. If there’s a gadget or an app you no longer use, remove it from the list.

3. Check your cloud storage provider’s stance on privacy.

Dig a little to assess how your provider manages the privacy of their clients. Look at how committed they are to protecting data. Verify the level of accessibility your provider gives themselves to your data and ponder if you’re comfortable with it or not. If you find something that doesn’t sit well with you, contact your provider and ask questions.

At the end of the day, it’s both a responsibility of yours and your service provider to ensure your data is safe and secure all the time.

Why Cloud Storage Options are Good for Small Businesses?

Cloud storage options for small businesses are fast becoming one of the most popular and efficient techniques of storing important company data. The problem is not a lot of small to medium-sized businesses take advantage of the benefits that cloud storage brings. Security is a big concern, especially for new entrepreneurs who are still trying to figure out how everything works.

The truth is that many well-established and huge companies recommend small businesses to look for cloud storage options that fit their needs. An enterprise cloud storage means easy access of files, not just for a single employee, but for everyone with clearance to do so. When used correctly, utilizing a cloud storage can increase the overall productivity of the company.

The great thing here is that there are tons of cloud storage options available for enterprise today. Some vendors provide a free sample of their service for a specific timeframe. Others require a monthly or yearly payment after a trial period. Going through these options is a crucial step to identify which provider is the best.

Below are top reasons small businesses must use cloud storage.

1. Synchronization

A good quality cloud storage allows clients to sync files between multiple computer systems connected to the same local network. This is helpful because the synchronization process reduces or eliminates the need for files to be manually moved from one machine to another. It also saves time with regards to the volume of data that must be sent via email.

Cloud storage providers also allow clients to view and edit data at once. This is advantageous especially if the company has several employees working from different locations.

2. Security

Official documents are always a source of threat for the company. Data can be stolen, erased, and damaged. Cloud storage secures corporate files better than any other security options today. The cloud system delivers a redundant safety and security approach. Also, company documents can be encrypted, which adds another layer of protection.

3. Availability

Having an unstable internet connection at work can cause various problems for the company. It can be bad for the business if a transaction is interrupted by slow Wi-Fi connection and abrupt data loss. Cloud storage assists with this worrying possibility because the storage servers never go offline. This means that even with a sudden loss of internet connection, it’s still possible to save current files to a secure location. Most cloud storage providers even have a cache data alternative to make data available even with a failed internet connection.

4. Cost

For corporate data, security is paramount. This means setting aside a budget to ensure that the files are always protected. Even with the slightly expensive cost of enterprise cloud storage service, this file backup is actually cheaper than buying other resources (ex. extra hard drives, USBs, micro SD cards, etc.) to secure corporate files.

Out of all the cloud storage options in the market today, which one do you think is best for your business?

How Long Can Servers Hold Off Cloud Hackers?

cloud hackers

Just to see how vulnerable cloud services really are to potential attacks by cloud hackers, CloudPassage, a security company, built an elaborate setup that consists of four servers with Linux-based operating systems and 2 servers using Microsoft operating systems. Loading these up with a variety of commonly-used programs, they invited hackers to break into the system, offering $5,000 for the winner.

All it took was four hours. Gus Gray, a novice who is still working on his bachelor’s degree in computer science while working for a technology company at the same time, just thought he’d fiddle around with the system because he didn’t have anything interesting to do.

So what was CloudPassage hoping to achieve with this experiment? Andrew Hay, CloudPassage’s director for applied security research, says that they wanted cloud users to realize how vulnerable they really are if they do not consider adding security measures to their default setup. “The cloud is cheap and efficient, which makes people want to use it. However, they do this without thinking about the security risks,” he says.

Of course, all these would prove to be beneficial to CloudPassage considering that they offer security services for cloud users. For those who are still not interested in getting the additional security, remember that loss of data is also caused by poor human judgment most of the time. Gus Gray, for example, was able to hack into the system after merely guessing the administrator password. This calls for stringent measures that users themselves can do, such as veering far away from default passwords and creating unique passwords that would be impossible for anyone else to guess. Changing these passwords over time would also be necessary to keep the security in the same level for a long period of time.

As for Gus Gray, the first thing he did after hacking the system was to go back to their office and check their own system for similar vulnerabilities.

It is normal for people to fear for the safety of their data, especially when you consider how attacks of cloud hackers seem to appear here and there. This makes it especially difficult for those who do not have a thorough background in cloud computing and technology as a whole, especially when hacking is blamed on the provider’s security system without considering human error and judgment. Just like the controversial iCloud incident, the term “hacked” was carelessly used, considering that the people behind it used phishing to get login credentials that would give them access to the information. Although people argue that Apple should have kept a two-step security check in place before the incident even occurred, the data centers remained secure throughout this incident.

Regardless of all the technical details surrounding such incidents however, it still remains that security should always be the first thing on people’s minds when they consider using cloud services. After all, you never know what trick cloud hackers are going to pull off next.

What about you? Have you considered adding security measures on top of your system’s default, or have you been keeping a tight watch over your system that you’re sure no one will be able to get in?

How to Get Free Cloud Backup from Zipcloud

In this day and age where cloud backup is king, there is no shortage of cloud backup services that you can choose from. To date, there are already some superstars in the cloud backup arena and they are Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. These cloud services are basically the “it” crowd when it comes to cloud backup and they offer both paid and free cloud backup services. As far as cloud backup goes, these are the big three; but this doesn’t mean that you completely forget about the new kids on the block that also offer free cloud backup.

One new name that is quickly garnering fans is Zipcloud and while it is not yet widely known, it is certainly making waves. For those looking for free cloud backup, this is certainly worth considering.tapnet

Consider Zipcloud

Zipcloud offers free cloud backup and for those looking to try cloud backup for the first time or to shift from the one they currently use, this is a great service to try. The company is relatively new, but they are quickly gathering fans because they offer what everyone wants in their cloud backup service. Looking at their website, you will see that they describe their service as “Simple. Safe.Secure,” which is really all you can ever ask for in a cloud service. Have a look at some of the very best things it has to offer below:

• Free cloud backup and storage – If you want top of the line cloud storage and you do not want to pay a cent for it, then you ought to sign up for the free cloud backup and storage offered by Zipcloud. All you need to do is sign up and sign in to your free account. Now, you will get limited space but if you refer family and friends, you can actually boost your cloud’s memory; if you are familiar with Dropbox’s free accounts, this is a similar concept they are using. Some reports have it that Zipcloud offers free and unlimited storage for those who want to upgrade after two weeks.

• Paid Storage – Like other cloud storage providers, Zipcloud also has paid accounts and the rates are really quite fair. For those that want to sign up for the paid cloud storage, it will cost about $71.00 a year and you get 500GB of storage. Customers will have to pay an extra $0.14 for every extra GB they use up after the initial amount given has been used up.

• Apps – This service thinks of everything and has even released an app that is available for both Android and iOS, so everyone can back up their files on their computers and check them on their phones. This service is not just compatible with Windows and iOS but also with Linux OS as well.

Those are some of the main features of this up and coming cloud backup service provider and you have to admit they are pretty good.

Will you be giving their free services a try anytime soon? Share your thoughts below!

What Cloud Storage Providers Can Do For You at Home

If you take a good look around, you will see that you can go several minutes without seeing something written about the cloud or at least the cloud being mentioned. Indeed, the cloud is hugely popular these days and it seems like every day, there is news of some new cloud storage providers that are popping up to offer services to business and homes alike.

Now some of you may already know that cloud storage providers already offer their services to offices and small businesses; however, you must also know that cloud storage providers have services geared specifically for home users. After all, the cloud is for everyone and this means homeowners and businessmen alike.

How the Cloud Can be Used at Home

cloud storage providersIt is easy to see how the cloud may be used in the office what with all the files they have to manage, work on, and share. The cloud is also beneficial to the work place in the sense that it is collaborative and easy to use. Seeing how perfectly suited the cloud is to businesses and office work, it can make you wonder where its place is in the home. For those who want to find out, check out some of the points below:

Storing important data – Homes have important files to store just like offices do and this is what the cloud can be used for. Those that want to keep an electronic record of their bills in organized folders in their computers can rely on the cloud to keep them safe and sound. This is one way to make sure that you never lose track of your bills and other records. You may even use your cloud storage to keep music and movies so your computer’s memory doesn’t get taken up by monster-sized files.

Sharing – For people who take a lot of pictures and want to share them with loved ones but not on social media, you can store your pictures on the cloud and share them with anyone that you want provided that they, too, have an account. If they do not have an account, you always have the option of sending them links.

Backing up data – If you have important work that you do on your home computer or if you work from home, you cannot afford to be lax and forget to back-up your files. When you have cloud storage in your computer, you do not have to worry about losing files.

There are so many different uses for the cloud at home and if you are not using it, well, you better get a move on so that you do not miss out on many of its wonderful benefits.  You do not have to pay for a cloud account if you do not want to since you can always rely on free cloud services and plans such as the ones offered by Google, Dropbox, and Zipcloud. However, if you do heavy work at home and you need more memory for your files, you may always opt for a paid account and get tons of space. Do you think this is something that will work with you? Share your thoughts below!

What to Consider in Choosing Cloud Storage Providers

Cloud storage has definitely brought technology to a new level, introducing a brilliant way to make storing files a whole lot easier. Aside from the fact that cloud storage eliminates the need for a number of space-consuming and costly storage equipment, it also makes file sharing more convenient. With the number of cloud storage providers in the market though, you would have to be careful about who to choose. Here are a few things to look for in searching for cloud storage providers:

cloud storage providersAs with any other types of storage, security plays the biggest risk. Especially with the fact that all your information is stored somewhere you do not have complete control over, it is a very important thing to do a thorough check on how trustworthy the provider is when it comes to encrypting and protecting your files. As much as possible, choose a provider that gives you several options to keep your files secure.

Ask for feedback from people you know to find out just how reliable a specific cloud storage provider is. Has anybody’s files been compromised in the length of time that they trusted the service? Is there too much downtime, or do they experience too much technical difficulties in using the service? Do they have efficient processes as far as addressing significant issues are concerned?

Especially for small businesses, the expected growth that your company is facing should be put into consideration. You may be handling a small amount of files now and could only have very few people accessing these files. But what happens when you start getting more people, and start accumulating more files as your business gets bigger? Find out if the provider will be able to adjust as your need expands, taking into consideration the additional costs that would go into it as well as the ease of transition as you upgrade your service little by little.

Just because it’s cheap means you get to save money, and just because it’s expensive does not mean that it’s top quality. In looking at the costs that would go with the service, the best question to ask yourself is “Is it worth it?” Cheap plans could either have hidden charges or could be so basic that you would still end up paying for a lot of add-ons, leaving you with even higher expenses. Expensive plans could have a lot of things that go with the package that you don’t really need. Look for the most reasonable offer that includes almost everything that you see as completely necessary and start with that.

Remember that in choosing the perfect cloud storage provider, these factors should be considered as non-negotiable. These should be the things that would have the biggest impact on your final decision; everything else will just be an add-on.

Are there other important factors that you feel should also be considered before deciding on the best cloud storage provider for your business and professional needs?

What are The Benefits of Cloud Storage for the Office?

cloud storage for the officeThese days, you can’t help but hear about the cloud nearly everywhere you go for the reason that it is just so popular. To give you an example of how popular cloud storage is, millions of people use it in their homes to store photos, music, and movies. Also, millions of students all over the world rely on the cloud for storage and backup since it offers them the convenience of being able to save, revise, and restore their work as long as they have an internet connection. When it comes to cloud storage for the office, you can bet millions of office workers also use it to store and back up their work but also so they can work as teams.

That is right, you might have thought that cloud storage for the office as strictly personal in that one office worker has one cloud and he is the only one with access to it but that is not true. There are so many benefits to using cloud storage in the office and they are all outlined below.

Using Cloud Storage for the Office Teams

Everyone knows that though office workers usually work as individuals, there are times when they are made to team up for projects. When you have that many people working on one thing at a time, you really can’t afford to leave anything by chance and just rely on email. That is a highway to confusion that will lead to failure.

Sure, office workers have been working together with the use of email but that isn’t the most efficient way to work. This is where cloud storage comes in handy so check out the benefits for office teams.

Collaborative –

When teams work on the cloud, they need not send a mass of emails back and forth because that just leads to confusion. All they need to do is put their documents and work in the cloud so that everyone who is supposed to be part of the team can gain access to the document and make changes.

Tracking –

This is one of the very best perks that you can get when you use cloud storage for your office teamwork. The reason for this is so you can see who has been working on the document and what they have done. Also, you can always check back on that person regarding the changes they made so no one can screw up and just leave the others to fix it all.

Convenient –

When you share your work on the cloud, everyone can see changes being made in real time. This could be really beneficial especially if your team’s email doesn’t work, when it comes to work at the office, you really can’t afford to leave anything to chance.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using cloud storage for the office. If you are using cloud storage in your home but not yet in your office, you can always suggest it to make your work easier. Have you thought of using cloud storage for your office team?

What is the Importance of Cloud Storage for Universities?

If people were made to look back at how they stored data several years back, no doubt they would wonder how in the world they survived. For one, there were the diskettes that could only store the bare minimum of data then came the CDs and DVDs that took up whole albums and a whole lot of space. There were many more storage devices used and created but if you look at them, it is plain to see that they all held a certain inconvenience especially for students since they always needed to back up their work but worry anyway that physical damage could happen to their storage devices.

This is why the creation of cloud storage has everyone who understands it in cloud 9. After all, there is nothing more convenient than having your data exactly where you need it each and every time without having to worry about losing your flash drives. All you need is access to the internet and you can have access to your data and make any revisions you want.

This leads to the question: Should there be cloud storage for universities?

Cloud Storage for Universities

storage for universitiesUniversities and students have tons of data that need storing and protecting and while some may argue that there are already existing clouds that they can use, it must be said that they are just not enough. Below are some features that need to be incorporated for special cloud storage for universities:

Calendars –

Dropbox and other cloud storage services of its ilk are fantastic, no doubt about that but they are not exactly geared for students in that they have everything that university students may need to function. For cloud storage to truly work with an academic community, it will need special features such as a calendar that the school can access and update so that students never miss a thing.

Previewing for different file types –

Some cloud storage services are very picky in that they do not allow users to view a myriad of file types. This can be very irritating for university students and staff which is why if a cloud storage service were to be built to cater to universities and students, it needs to have the ability to preview and open different file types. This will save everyone a lot of aggravation for sure.

Restore feature –

Accidents happen even on the best of cloud storage facilities but a good cloud storage app should have a fool-proof restore function that can help students retrieve their 200-page theses without jumping through hoops.

In this day and age, there really is no room for flimsy USB sticks or other storage materials that can succumb to a myriad of reasons. University students and staff stand to gain a lot with the use of the cloud and this is why universities need to adapt cloud storage that are especially made for them. As a Uni student or staff, would you gladly make the switch to cloud storage if you haven’t already?

SugarSync vs Dropbox: What’s the Difference?

Cloud storage presents a lot of solutions for file storage, retrieval, and backup while increasing business efficiency and productivity even outside the building premises. Two of the most commonly used online storage providers are SugarSync and Dropbox.

SugarSync vs Dropbox: Things They Have in Common

SugarSync vs. Dropbox: What’s the Difference?If you’re concerned about real-time upload of the changes you make to your documents, both SugarSync and Dropbox have these features. Both also offer instant backup from devices you choose to install them.

For sharing functionality, you can select which folders you would like to share with your selected audience. You also don’t have to worry about the file size since you can upload any file size as long as you still have space for it. Both storage providers offer support for Mac OS X and Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. These are also both available for mobile devices such as iPhones, iPods and iPads, Kindle Fire, Blackberry 7, and Android device. So, accessing your files on the go is possible.

SugarSync vs Dropbox: Their Differences

Dropbox is a lot easier to use compared to SugarSync because it has less configurations and is very user-friendly. You can install it and treat the folder like any other folder—the difference is that all files copied into this folder will be uploaded to the cloud. SugarSync, on the other hand, requires a bit of setup and the interface is a bit more complex. In short, it gets a little getting used to.

One of the major differences between SugarSync and Dropbox is which folders you choose to sync. With Dropbox, you can only sync your files by placing them in one folder. SugarSync allows you to choose the folders you would like to sync online. Basically, if you want to sync several folders in your computer’s drives, you can do so by using SugarSync and all the files you save in those synced folders will be automatically uploaded to the cloud.

When it comes to the free storage they offer, SugarSync offers more at 5GB while Dropbox only offers 2GB. When going for paid services, it can be said that these two have level offers despite the differences. Individual plans for SugarSync come at $7.60 a month to get 60GB while individual plans for Dropbox start at $9.99 per month for 100G. Both offers are not bad, and the difference you have to consider would be how much money you’re willing to spend on your storage if you have a lot of files. Both offer upgrades for additional costs.

One of the advantages that SugarSync has over Dropbox is that it allows its users to upload and sync via email—something you cannot do with Dropbox. For those who frequently use emails for work and for storing email information, SugarSync is the way to go.

All in all, it can be said that for an easier experience with online storage, Dropbox has the solution but for more specific needs and if you can deal with the complex interface, SugarSync will be great for you. Have you tried any of these two storage providers? Tell us about your experiences!

How to Make the Best Out of Hybrid Cloud Storage

hybrid cloud storageThese days, you can’t really go anywhere and not hear people talking about the cloud. When the technology was new, no one really knew what it was and there was only one kind of cloud. However, as the technology grew more and more, more types of clouds came about. Now, you have the private, the public, and the hybrid. Most people know what public and private clouds are but it is safe to say that not a lot of them have a clue as to what hybrid clouds are and what to do with them. If you run a business, you will want to know what this hybrid cloud is and how you can make the best out of it. Hybrid cloud storage might just change the way you run your business.

What is a Hybrid Cloud?

Before going deeper into this, it might be a good idea to get to know what a hybrid cloud is, just so you can clear up any misconception before you learn more about cloud storage tips.

A hybrid cloud is the kind of cloud technology wherein public and private cloud features are integrated so that an organization has access to the benefits of both. What this means is a company can save money by storing non-sensitive data on a public cloud while they can store more important information on a private cloud.

Below are some tips to help make hybrid cloud storage safer and more efficient.

Control all access to the cloud. When it comes to the information you store in your hybrid cloud, you cannot take any chances. You cannot go around thinking that since you are storing non-sensitive data on your hybrid cloud, anyone can just go in and have a look. You need to make sure that you control who has access to the cloud and what information they can get their hands on. Set up unique password identification protocols for each person who needs to access the cloud and make it clear what type of info they can and cannot access.

Assess all risks involved. If you want to rely on a hybrid cloud to store data for you, then you want to conduct a risk assessment for all the assets that you will be storing in the cloud. Your risk assessment should include definitions of all the risks, evaluations of the risk, and putting down a risk profile for every individual resource. More sensitive data are the ones that should be stored in a more private cloud environment.

Employ end-to-end security. Not only should you check the risks involved in your cloud, but you also need to look at the devices your employees use to access the cloud. It doesn’t matter how well you secure your computers if your employees access the cloud through public computers or other gadgets which are not their own.

What do you think of the hybrid cloud? Do you think you can make use of it for your own business and it will work? Share your thoughts in the comments!