New Tech Challenge: Get Your Head In The Clouds

I’ve gotten a lot of downright panicky questions from readers about the cloud connectivity in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Many of you say you don’t want to be connected with the cloud in any way. Do you remember the old commercial for Palmolive where the manicurist is extolling the virtues of Palmolive dish detergent and how great it is, and then tells the customer, “You’re soaking in it!?” The thing with the cloud is that you’re already there whether you like it or not, so you might as well take advantage of what it has to offer you.


First let’s talk about what I mean when I talk about “The Cloud.” Obviously it’s not a real cloud, it means a network of off-site computer servers that store, process and share information. These servers are connected to each other and you via the Internet.

You’ve already got quite a lot of information in the cloud. If you have e-mail, your messages are stored in the cloud. Even if you download them from the server to an e-mail client and then delete the from the server, they still spend all of the time after leaving the sender sitting in the cloud. And just because you delete your copy from the server, doesn’t mean the sender’s copy isn’t still there in the cloud.

Your banking information, medical records, government records, tax records… basically everything is stored on off-site servers. For better or worse, cloud computing is here to stay. But it has its advantages.

If you use a device like a smartphone, tablet or even a Kindle and something happens to it, you can replace it and instantly download all of your apps, e-mails, messages, music, e-books and photos to your new device. If you’ve backed up your contacts, you can have all of those again in an instant.

Cloud accounts are a great way to back up and share documents and images. In this series of articles, I’m going to show you how to make the cloud work for you.

Tomorrow, we’ll check out how you can get free cloud storage, so you can try it out without spending a penny.

~ Cynthia


6 thoughts on “New Tech Challenge: Get Your Head In The Clouds

  1. Just another means for world/government to know every little detail about us. we will always be under someone’s thumb.
    As bad as drugs, get one caught up in something that sounds so good and fun in the beginning.
    Then add more and more interesting things and boom your under a spell, and, no way out!!!!!

  2. I have to agree with what Judy is saying… We may have some aspects of our information, like the emails, banking etc.. mentioned in the article that is stored on other servers, but you can call me ‘old school’ if you want, I’d much rather back-up my own personal information on my own external hard drive that gets unplugged or on flash drives that are removed, then to have it available to any hacker, even if it’s some kid trying to get in as a challenge or just for kicks…

    I KNOW where my back-up data and personal files are stored and more importantly (to me anyway) WHO has access to it – do YOU?

    1. I certainly have physical as well as cloud back-ups of my important information. But when it comes to things that really matter to me, I remember what happened to a coworker of mine who came home to find his condo complex ablaze. He lost everything, including a back up hard drive and some important documents that turned to ash inside a fire safe because of the intense heat. His family photos, all his computer files and everything else both physical and digital were gone. But there were two exceptions – he had music on the iPod he was carrying and was able to redownload all of his Kindle books for free when insurance paid for a new Kindle and since all of his music was in the iTunes cloud, he was able to download that to new devices as well. Had his photos and copies of his documents also been backed up to the cloud, he’d still have copies of them as well. It’s also possible for someone to come into your home and physically remove your computer and the back up. Nothing is 100% safe and I’m not saying you should put classified documents on your OneDrive, but cloud storage is a viable tool for protecting your information.

      1. Cynthia, I admit, you do make a valid point…. bad weather and-or misfortune DO happen from time to time in most everyone’s life at some point or another.

        That being said, what stops a hacker from gaining access to our ‘cloud information’ stored somewhere? They get into ‘secure’ sites like Home Depot and even the government has been hacked…. Not that my photos or medical history or taste in music could be considered ‘classified’ information, but what is mine, I want to KNOW is going to stay mine.

        Google is well known for ‘using’ our search information for their own gain, and I remember a while back where information in our own emails was being ‘read’ and used to support ads in our ‘areas of interest’… (honestly do not remember who/what service was guilty).

        What is to keep the owners of these cloud storage servers from going through our stored information for their own gain, through some ‘loop-hole’ in their agreement that we must ‘sign’…?? I’m not some corporate lawyer that can read those ‘agreements’ for every possible hole that may or may not be there…

        I’m enjoying the Cloud series you are doing here and appreciate your above reply very much. You have put a crack of light into my closed mind on the subject.

        Please explain WHY I should trust my information is safe and secure in the Cloud?

      2. The cloud can be breached just as your house can be broken into. There’s no place that 100% safe, and most truly confidential material such as medical records, banking records, your SSN etc… are already in the cloud. My doctor’s office and my bank were both still using Windows XP until a couple of months ago, so I don’t know how safe my information was. But for documents, pictures and music – it’s a great space saving alternative.

  3. It all sounds like a good idea to me, but after the highly touted “free” period comes the forever PAID service.

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