General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Do you trust the cloud as a storage place?

Asked by Jeruba (51639points) 1 week ago

I have resisted storing or doing anything (knowingly) in the so-called cloud. I don’t trust it. I don’t trust those who own it or those who supposedly guard it.

But is paper in a box really safer and better?

A few things can go in a safe-deposit box at the bank, but how about all those records worth keeping that won’t fit in a little metal tray and that you might need faster access to, or multiple copies of?

Remote electronic files are more likely to survive fires and natural disasters, but they’re also more hackable, and they can be erased at a stroke. I, for one, feel better seeing my medical records on paper than on a computer screen.

Do you depend on the cloud for things? or what do you do instead?

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25 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

Absolutely. I have all my data backed up on Backblaze. That way if I lose everything I can get recovery copies.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I store everything I possibly can in the cloud. I keep very little paper files.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I don’t save personal items there, but yes. Sharing access unknowingly is the scary part. I had to tell a few people some personal pics were in shared areas haha!

gorillapaws's avatar

I also use Backblaze. The data is encrypted, so employees or hackers who managed to somehow breach their security can’t read your files unless they have your password. I also use 1Password as my password manager. That way all of my passwords are unique and very strong. They are also stored in the cloud but are themselves encrypted.

give_seek's avatar

I don’t know if anything is completely trustworthy. However, I do save most of my electronic files in the cloud.

Jeruba's avatar

Hmm, I guess I should look at Backblaze if you guys trust it. Honestly, I’m in a place where I can scarcely trust anything, so maybe it’s best if I borrow your confidence.

AK's avatar

It is as safe as a bank locker I guess. If you are a regular Joe, like 99% of the population, cloud is the best place to store your data. You can recover it whenever you want and can be at peace because the hackers are are not going to go after lumber like you and me. I don’t really trust the claims about ‘double encryption, unhackable, foolproof’ stuff. If it is created by humans, it WILL be broken by humans. Just treat the cloud like you would treat your bank locker. It is safe most of the times. If a mini army decides to break in and steal everything in the lockers, nothing is going to stop them. Same thing with cloud. If determined hackers are single purposely trying to hack, they will get the data. We just need to trust our ‘fate’ and leave it at that.

flutherother's avatar

I back up data I don’t want to lose in three ways; on my mobile phone, on an external hard drive and on an old PC. I also have a filing cabinet where I store paper correspondence. I don’t use the cloud knowingly at all though Google seems to be storing my photographs.

janbb's avatar

I just use the cloud for photo storage backup. My files are mainly paper files although I double checked last night that my online banking is also on the iPad. I want to get a copy of my will to my executors but I don’t want to send it to them electronically or in the mail yet.

Zaku's avatar

I use some cloud storage, but I don’t rely on it. Pretty much anything I have on cloud storage, I also have on one or more or my computers’ hard drives, and on my own backup devices.

I don’t trust cloud storage both because of distrust of the companies that run it, and because of experiences I have had, particularly with bullshit policy changes, such as the cloud storage service Google Drive deciding suddenly that certain random of my files might need to be “quarantined”, even though they absolutely have no actual problem with them, and since Google has near-zero customer service for something like that, my comments and inquiries about it got zero reply from them.

Not to mention cloud storage means you need to keep track of your authentication info to be able to get it, and if someone else learns that info, they could get your stuff too, and/or delete or modify what you have on it.

You’re talking about storing personal documents there. I don’t do that. I keep originals and electronic copies, but on my own devices. In some cases, my friends/family and I send each other some data to store as an extremely redundant backup strategy.

gorillapaws's avatar

@AK “I don’t really trust the claims about ‘double encryption, unhackable, foolproof’ stuff. If it is created by humans, it WILL be broken by humans.”

You SHOULD be skeptical, but it’s important to understand how things get hacked. In the case of Backblaze (and most other cloud services that I’m aware of), it’s using 128-bit AES which would take a supercomputer 1,020,000,000,000,000,000 years to brute force. Nobody brute forces these files. Instead they trick users into giving them passwords, or the digital keys are not secured properly, or security patches are not installed in a timely manner, etc. and someone with malicious intent gets access to the password.

The other thing that can happen is that the developers can fail to implement the encryption standard correctly. This is much less likely to occur for businesses where data security is one of the “core pillars” of their business model, but it’s reasonably common with sites/apps where security isn’t a core part of their business. That’s why using the same password for your kid’s local tee-ball league website (running outdated, unmaintained code on an unpatched server) and the one you use to encrypt your financial documents is a terrible idea.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Disclaimer: I am bad and do not perform regular backups except for work files which are stored on 2 hard drives that I swap with another person. He has the latest backup while I have the working backup. After a couple of weeks we swap.

For personal things I am similar to @flutherother. Except for google photos taken on my phone (with the GPS turned off) I don’t store things in the cloud. Old photos are on CDs. Yes CDs! Backup copies of Excel programs and word documents are on USB sticks and, if they are really important, I email them to myself. I also have a plethora of SD cards with photos. I write the date on the cards with a Sharpie and put them in my SD card drawer.
I do not have my entire computer and operating system backed up. I know that is bad.

RocketGuy's avatar

I back up to iDrive on the cloud because it’s cheap. They have storage redundancy and their own back up plan, so chances are that my data (mostly family photos) will survive the most likely problems: hard drive failures and disaster damage. I’m not too worried about hackers getting into their system and stealing my data.
And I use a NAS with RAID 1 locally, so in a way, do local backups of my files.

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks for all the information. I would never have got across that bridge at the end of the third Indiana Jones movie.

I don’t think my information is valuable enough to be hacked or stolen, but I do think about its being stored alongside something that is. Collateral damage.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Our Fluther info is stored in the cloud? I’m ok with it.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba I think I would look for a trustworthy tech person to help you figure this out. And when you find them, give them my name!

(For now I think I’ll print out a paper copy of my passwords and hide it in a drawer.)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@janbb Psst. Don’t tell anyone… That’s where my passwords are hidden too.

janbb's avatar

^^ Mediocre minds think alike! :-)

smudges's avatar

@LuckyGuy & @janbb I’ve been meaning to do that! But…ok….now here’s how paranoid I am – I’m afraid to type all of my passwords into Word or Notepad so that I can print them out, then delete the document, and then store the printed copy of the passwords in a drawer. Why? Cuz if my computer were to get hacked (I know, lonnnng shot!) “they” could probably dig around and find the deleted document with the passwords on it.

(And I’m bad in addition to being paranoid – no backup either. Don’t really know how and it intimidates me.)

smudges's avatar

@Jeruba I have a lot of medical records in my file cabinet, but when my Health System started keeping records digitally, I stopped going to the trouble of keeping paper records. I can access almost everything through my PC, phone, or whatever. I’d prefer having paper, but digital records are the next best thing, and I can print them out if I really want a hard copy. Is that something you could do?

KRD's avatar

I do trust the cloud.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@smudges @janbb I do not type my passwords I have them in a small notebook phone book notebook – written in pencil!

jca2's avatar

I don’t use the cloud. I should use a photo storage site. I have photos on phone cards which are in a jewelry box, and I have printed photos all over the place. I use Facebook for many photos which is bad, I know, because should something happen to my Facebook account, I won’t have access to those photos any longer.

I have been considering using a photo storage site. I just have to research one and start using it.

I have my passwords in a book at home and a book at work. I keep the email address I used for the account, my user name, my password, and security questions I used to set up the account. I also keep the birthdate I used to set up the account, if it’s not my real birth date. Also, if it’s a magazine subscription, or anything paid with a start date, like AAA, I put the start date and end date so it’s clear.

jca2's avatar

I should also add that in the book with the passwords, I write the account number – account number for magazines, AAA, health insurance. Anything that I may need so if I’m logging into a site, I don’t have to get up to fish around looking for cards or info. The goal is not having to get up lol.

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