In Cyber Safety

What is the Cloud and How You Can Make It Work

what is the cloud

Understanding What is the Cloud…

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you’re already familiar with the term “in the cloud.” However, few people — with the exception of the really technically savvy– have a strong grasp of exactly what this term means. The truth is, most people with computers use the cloud on a fairly regular basis, but they don’t even realize it. Cloud storage has gotten a bad reputation as of late, because several celebrities have had their most intimate photos stolen. However, the cloud remains a vital resource for anyone who utilizes the digital revolution.

What is the Cloud and How Does it Work

The cloud is more than a fluffy white mass of mist floating in the earth’s atmosphere. It refers to a kind of storage that gives people access to information from multiple devices. For instance, a person can check their text messages only from their own phone. The texts are stored, but they’re stored on the phone itself. However, individuals can check their emails from anyone’s phone, tablet of computer once they’ve signed into their account.

That’s because emails aren’t stored on a particular device. Technically they’re stored in the cloud which is why virtually any computer in the world can access them. When you start an email account, you basically rent storage space on someone else’s server. Few people will ever maximize the amount of space they’re using, but there actually is a limit to how many emails one can send and receive. This space is refreshed when old emails are erased, but it can technically be filled to maximum capacity. For Google’s popular email platform Gmail, users are given 15 gigabytes of space which equates to more than 150,000 emails stored as sent, received and starred messages. This is a massive amount of space, but Google must place some type of limitation on how much cloud space each account is given. This is how the cloud works, by permitting people to store information on an off-location server. The cloud is a vital part of sending and receiving emails, but this technology is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ask the average person “what does the cloud mean” and they might respond by saying trouble. This is because a number of celebrities have had their nude pictures stolen from the cloud by cyber thieves. The reason people upload pictures to the cloud is to make more room on their own devices. This is especially true for smartphone owners who can fill their devices up with pictures and movies in a matter of days. Once this happens, they either have to start deleting the older stuff or moving things to the cloud. Initially, cloud storage seemed like a godsend until the hackers began to strike. Now the old adage “if it seems to good to be true…” comes to mind.

Stealing From the Cloud

When the celebrity sex tape craze was going on, most of them made claims that the tapes were stolen from their homes. However, these were mostly desperate ploys for attention. If not for sex tapes, most people would have never heard of Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashean. The logic behind the apathy was simple — no one would make a sex tape unless they wanted someone else to see it. However, the celebrities who had their pictures stolen from cloud storage seem like legitimate victims. This is because millions of regular people use the cloud for storage everyday while very few of them will ever make a sex tape.

One of the first celebrities to experience this blatant violation of privacy is one Jennifer Lawrence. The star of Hunger Games had to be absolutely mortified when she first saw nude pictures of herself floating around on social media. According to her spokesperson Liz Mahoney, Jennifer’s pictures were stolen from Apple’s iCloud service, which has since been revamped. However, no amount of additional security will give Ms. Lawrence back her sense of privacy which has been so heinously violated. In order to understand why Lawrence would upload these photos to the cloud, one must further examine Apple itself.

Apple’s Only Weakness

Apple’s iPhone and iPad are the most technologically advanced smart devices on earth. Even Google’s android platform pails in comparison, but Android users do have one advantage. Android devices are compatible with Scan Disc (SD) cards that can hold all of their pictures, movies and music. When the SD card is full, Android users can simply take it out and replace it with another one. An Android owner can have dozens of SD cards which provide potentially unlimited storage. Best of all, the cards can never be hacked. However, Apple devices only have internal storage. This means each device will eventually run out of space, and their users must upload their data to the cloud. The iCloud service is Apple’s cloud storage platform and it given left celebrities like Kristen Dunst and Ariana Grande far more exposure than they ever wanted. Fortunately, there are other cloud storage services, and these celebrities may choose to rely upon them from now on.

What are the Different Types of Clouds

There was a time when someone asking what are the types of clouds would have yielded answers like Stratus and Cirrus. However, this question now asks why is the user renting space on a server. Cloud storage refers to the iCloud and services such as 4shared. The latter is a Soviet company which has made it possible for people get all the movies and music they want without paying a cent. Even American based companies are taking advantage of 4shared and hurting traditional record companies in the process. There are sites which boldly advertise the ease with which people can obtain free music and movies. The vast majority of them have the files stored on 4Shared so they can feign ignorance to any wrong doing. The sites operator isn’t responsible for the content, because the files are stored on another site. The US government can’t do anything to 4Shared, because the company is located in Russia.

What is the Cloud Hosting

There is also something known as cloud hosting which is giving small companies the ability to compete with much larger corporations. In order to understand cloud serving, you must first understand websites. A site is just a document that can be opened by a web browser. The document is written in a language known as HTML and every site has a domain name. When the domain name is entered into the URL bar, the browser connects to the site via the internet. The HTML must be stored on a server somewhere so the web browser can connect to it. There was a time when a company needed to buy a server in order to have a website.

The first web developers would buy several servers and charge people tremendous amounts of money to build websites for them. Cloud hosting makes it possible for the small time company to build and publish a website for almost nothing. Most services charge a modest fee for hosting the website, but it’s still far less expensive than paying a web designer. Even a web designer is less expensive than buying servers and paying a professional to install a network. there is a raging debate about which service is more practical, because cloud servers charge an annual fee while the analog servers only have to be purchased once. For larger companies, buying the servers may be less expensive in the long run.

The cloud is one of the most innovative ways in which people utilize the digital revolution. However, it has its strengths and faults just like anything else. Before anyone uses cloud storage he or she needs to realize the potential threats involved. This service gives people a nearly unlimited amount of storage space, but it’s not 100% secure. Cloud servers are also excellent resources, but they’re costly to use for prolonged periods of time. Yet in still, the cloud is far more beneficial than it is harmful, and it will continue to improve over time.

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