Is the “Cloud” Safe?

Posted by jplesset on May 23, 2014 under Real Stories of Support | Be the First to Comment

Recently, our Church decided to move to using “Cloud” services for office applications and e-mail.  Yes, they did it without consulting with me (typical church stuff, the staff makes decisions without input). This prompted me to ask, “Is the cloud safe?”

For values of “safe”, indeed it is, but . . .  If you’re thinking about putting your information in the cloud, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Who has my data?
  • Do I really trust them?
  • What security measures do they take against hacking?
  • What backup do they do?  What if I delete something accidentally?
  • What will the long term cost be?  It may be inexpensive today, but next year?
  • Can I get my data back if I want to?  If they stop offering the service?

There are alternatives to paying somebody else to store your stuff in a “cloud”. A few months ago, I got a “network attached” storage unit.  Not expensive, and we now use it as our own little “cloud” here at home. We could turn the remote access part on, and be able to access our stuff from anywhere. Since we own the equipment, we don’t have to pay anybody for the service…

Update to the Church experiment, 6 months on.

Most things seem to be working well, except..   All e-mail with attachments are only getting a “winmail.dat” file attached. Many Church members can’t use these, including me. The Church IT person can’t figure out how to fix it, and every time there’s an update, what he tries goes away. Microsoft Support hasn’t been able to help either.

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