Dropbox, Google Drive, & More: How Safe Is the Cloud Actually?

data cloud graphic

When you save a file locally, it gets stored on the hard drive of your laptop, phone, PC, or other devices until you decide to either send the file somewhere else, transfer it to another storage medium such as an external drive or USB stick, or simply delete it. 

But what about services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, which store your data on the cloud? Let’s take a look at what the cloud actually is and whether it’s as safe as its proponents claim. 

What is the Cloud?

First things first: The cloud — or cloud storage —  refers to an online service that allows users to store and access their data and files over the internet. With cloud storage, users can store their data on remote servers that are managed by a specific provider instead of storing it on their own local devices. 

A cloud-based approach allows users to access their data from anywhere in the world from any device with an internet connection while also providing a convenient and cost-effective way to back up and protect important data.

Is the Cloud Safe? 

No security solution is perfect, and there are always risks of malicious actors accessing data regardless of how many protective measures are in place, but cloud storage services offered by reputable companies like Google and Microsoft are exceptionally safe and are protected by multiple layers of physical and digital security. 

The data centers where cloud servers are maintained tend to be located in remote areas and are almost always heavily guarded and equipped with a range of surveillance systems to prevent physical intrusion. 

There are also safeguards in place to protect against other forms of physical damage. For instance, oxygen levels in the air immediately surrounding these facilities may be reduced to lower the risk of fires, and multiple backups of your data are created so that they can be recovered even in the case of hard drive failure. Defensive measures against cybersecurity threats are just as robust. From end-to-end encryption and 24/7 active monitoring to data compartmentalization and multiple different

authentication mechanisms, the odds that anything you store in the cloud could be accessed by hackers or seen by other prying eyes are incredibly slim. 

Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage 

You might still be wondering if cloud storage makes more sense than simply keeping your files stored locally. While it’s understandable to be wary of sending potentially sensitive information over the internet to be stored on a company’s servers, the simple fact is that it’s a much safer and more secure option. Unlike with local storage solutions, you’ll never have to worry about hardware failures or malfunctions thanks to the built-in redundancies that cloud storage offers. 

Also, consider the question of how much data is exposed to risk at any given time. With files stored locally, anyone who gains illicit access to that device will be able to see — and steal — everything on it. Conversely, cloud storage allows your data to be broken down into smaller chunks known as partitions so that even in the extremely rare likelihood of a breach, criminals wouldn’t be able to gain access to all of your files. 

Cloud Services in Jacksonville

Data storage and management is an important consideration for businesses of all sizes, and it’s crucial to have a partner who can provide those services at the highest level. 

There are experts in IT consulting and cloud services in Jacksonville standing by to support your business, and if you’re an individual you’re interested in making your data safer and more accessible, there are companies that offer cloud services and IT consulting in Jacksonville, Florida, who are ready to help.