Cloud computing is all the rage. Crowds both tech-savvy and not are hearing about this technological force. Here are some starting points to understanding cloud computing, its uses and why you can trust the cloud.
"The cloud" simply means cloud computing. Cloud computing is a way for a user to store information with an online file storage system instead of the hard drive of a personal computer. It sounds more complex than it is. Most computer users have been using online file storage systems for quite some time. Anyone who has uploaded a photo to Facebook or saved payment information to a favorite shopping site has used cloud computing. These are examples of storing information where it could not be accessed if you were offline. It is, for all intents and purposes, in "the cloud."
The Silver Lining
One of the best benefits of cloud computing is information mobility. Because information is stored on the Internet it is accessible anywhere an Internet connection is available. And, the Internet can reach a lot more places than a singular hard drive. By choosing cloud computing a user no longer has to worry about forgetting important documents or suddenly needing data. Stored information can be pulled up in a matter of seconds. Additionally, having data in the cloud makes it exponentially more shareable. Think of it like this: if a song is on youtube.com (online) multiple people can listen to it, however, only one person could hear it at a time if the same track were on an iPod (offline storage).
Cloud computing also bolsters the green movement. The availability of file sharing eradicates the need to print out copies of the same document. Being able to collaborate online eliminates the need for face-to-face meetings. This makes it easier for individuals to work remotely or completely from home, shirking their commute.
The Storm Protection
Understandably, many people worry about the security of cloud computing. A file certainly seems safer just sitting on your computer as opposed to floating out on the Internet, but information on the cloud is secure. For free online storage platforms like Dropbox or Flickr the security functions are very basic. An account is password protected and users can choose whether content is "public" or not. Larger programs like Sharepoint have many tiers of security that can be granted or taken away by an administrator. These features are perfect for a larger office. Sensitive information is stored online instead of being in hundreds of computers. Companies don't have to worry about laptops with important information disappearing or crashing. Additionally, as employees move on and positions change, security clearance can be taken away and granted as needed.
About the Author: Holly Watson is a self-made social media guru and fashionista. She enjoys running, blogging and following internet trends. You can check out some of her style on www.beltsandbangles.com.