What is ‘The Cloud’ and should you be storing data in it?

SARASOTA, FLA. - As the President and owner of I-Net Consulting, Ari Weinstein knows about computer security.

“We do email security, data security, back up and restore and business continuity for our customers,” explained Weinstein. His company provides secure private cloud based services for business customers around the Suncoast.

“The cloud is a shared service for storing or sharing or working with anything online,” said Weinstein. He says there are many cloud services available for individuals to use.

“iCloud is Apple, Skydrive is from Microsoft, Google Drive is from Google, there's Amazon storage from Amazon, there's Dropbox, there's tons of different cloud storage services.”

He say we don't need to be fearful of using clouds for storage, but we should use caution when using any cloud-based internet storage sites.

“People can use social engineering to get into your account. Even if there is no problem with iCloud, if they guess your password or if they reset your password by knowing your birthday or the answer to your secret question then they can get access to your account.”

But he says we can easily make Internet clouds safer by using two free tools available to anyone, encryption and two-factor authentication, which is a lot simpler than it sounds.

“All it means is that when you sign in you have an additional factor or a code when you sign it.” He says the additional code can be set up to be sent to your smart phone so even if someone has your mother's maiden name or guesses your password they still can't access your account without the code.