Seven Hidden Truths About Personal Clouds

Seven Hidden Truths About Personal Clouds

Seven Hidden Truths About Personal Clouds 

Increasingly, people are discovering the joy of using personal clouds for a wide range of tasks, such as photo and video sharing, mobile backup, anytime music and project collaboration. Consequently as their popularity increases, people’s skepticism about worrisome aspects, such as privacy, security and reliability, is starting to ebb and growing desire and expectation for anytime access of personal content is trumping concerns.

This article highlights some key potential gotchas that personal cloud providers prefer users don’t know, but, being aware of these is essential as it helps adopters gain the most from personal clouds while avoiding potential pitfalls.

#1: The service is free (except when it isn’t). Every personal cloud service offers free sign up, but the catch is the ‘freemium’ model that relies on users upgrading to a paid service or mining user data for advertising. So even though a service appears free, there is no such thing as a free cloud.

#2: We don’t care about your data (we want your $). Although personal clouds tout their many benefits, they are really offered to sell people things such as more storage, devices, mobile data and content. Or they are offered to reduce switching because your data is in their cloud. This is a modern version of the strategy of giving the razor away for free in order to sell the blades i.e. the aforementioned stuff. Don’t be fooled, keep a close tab on your wallet.

#3: Trust us, your data is safe & secure (unless it isn’t). A personal cloud service accessible by the public has a good chance of being hacked, even with stringent safeguards. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies can legally search cloud information, depending on location and circumstance. You should still not put anything online that you don’t want Uncle Sam or other unknown relatives to access.

#4: We are 100% reliable (except when we’re not). There have been numerous outages and incidents affecting personal clouds, resulting in data loss, despite best efforts to avoid this. It is too costly to 100% guarantee that all data will be available forever. The chances may be slim that you will lose data sometime, but if you really want to be careful, maintain an off-cloud version of important stuff. It’s like dentists say, you don’t need to floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep.

#5: Get a lot of storage for cheap (that you probably won’t use). Most personal clouds offer a nominal amount of free storage and a lot more storage for a modest fee. How do they do this without going broke? Is it economies of scale, storing data on low cost media, compression or storing a single copy of commercial content such as movies and songs? The answer is yes , but it’s also a numbers game. Services are based on the premise that a high percentage of purchased storage is never used. When you run out of free storage and upgrade for more, it takes time to fill it up, which for most people, never occurs, for many reasons. When this happens, you are actually paying for free storage for other people.

#6: Having a bad cloud day? (Good luck getting help). How many personal cloud services offer phone support? OK, stop laughing. If zero popped into mind, that would be about right. Many services offer online support, which may be ok for techies. If you are non-technical, you should befriend a techie or there is safety in numbers i.e. stick to popular services because if millions use something, it must work.

#7: We’re not mining your data (but we might tomorrow). Popular personal cloud services are legit, with privacy policies that prevent data from being mined without consent. That’s fine until they change. They can publish a revised policy with fine print that may relax privacy restrictions. How many people read the fine print? About the same as the number of providers offering phone support. So while, you enjoy the convenience of your personal cloud, treat confidential data with utmost care, by keeping it off-cloud.

In sum, these seven hidden truths may cause you to pause before using personal clouds. That wasn’t the intent of this article; it was to make people aware, so they know how far they can rely on personal clouds. As a final word of advice, personal clouds are here to stay; it’s best to make them your ally, which you can do by being aware of potential gotchas.

By Hal Steger,

hal-imageHal Steger is Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at Funambol. He has more than 20 years of marketing and business development experience. Steger co-founded and was VP Marketing of Rubric, where he positioned the company as the leader of the new category of Marketing Automation solutions. Rubric was acquired for $370M. Prior to Rubric, Hal held product management and product marketing positions at Oracle, Uniface/Compuware, and other high profile Silicon Valley companies. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan with a double major in Computer Science and Economics, and an M.S.I.A. (MBA) degree from Carnegie-Mellon’s Tepper School of Business (formerly GSIA).

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Fintech Exploiting AI and Blockchain Technology

Fintech Exploiting AI and Blockchain Technology

AI and Blockchain Technology The field of artificial intelligence (AI) had progressed rapidly in the last ten years, though first recognized in the 1950s. From autonomous motor vehicles to digital personal assistants, the technology is making its way into a variety of industries, enabling better task automation, language processing, and data analytics. But more recently,…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

What’s On The Horizon For Cloud Computing

What’s On The Horizon For Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Trends Now that we are a little more than halfway through 2016, many experts are beginning to make their predictions about cloud computing for the rest of the year and beyond. While many of the trends aren’t too unexpected (the ever increasing acceptance of cloud solutions by businesses, for instance) other trends are…

Tesla Solar Plan Would Cost Billions To Implement

Tesla Solar Plan Would Cost Billions To Implement

A 1,500-word manifesto that Elon Musk unveiled last week, outlining his plan to expand Tesla Motors Inc.’s electric-vehicle line and to build “stunning solar roofs,” may end up costing the company tens of billions of dollars to carry out. Musk, Tesla’s chairman and chief executive officer, gave the estimate on Tuesday after a tour of the…

Healthcare IoT Security To Grow To $47 Billion In 2021

Healthcare IoT Security To Grow To $47 Billion In 2021

Healthcare IoT Security It’s obvious that IoT can make the entire healthcare industry more efficient. The kind of data involved can be used to save time, physical energy and operating costs. Because of this, devices that facilitate medical data are becoming more commonplace in the industry. This includes things such as wearables that can track…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

Bridging The Gap Between Big Content and Big Data Advances in cloud computing, along with the big data movement, have transformed the business IT landscape. Leveraging the cloud, companies are now afforded on demand capacity and mobile accessibility to their business-critical systems and information. At the same time, the amount of structured and unstructured data…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security Security is one of those IT concerns that aren’t problematic until disaster strikes. It might be tomorrow, it could be next week or next year. The fact is that poor security leaves businesses wide open for data loss and theft. News outlets just skim the surface, but hackers cost business up…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility A CIO friend of mine once told me that a hybrid cloud model enables him to “own the base, rent the spike” when it comes to unplanned events. Let’s face it – maintaining unused infrastructure for rare or random IT events is expensive and unnecessary in a cloud…

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

Data Science and Machine Learning Security breaches have been consistently rising in the past few years. Just In 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security breaches than in the previous year, according to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016. Those breaches are a major expense — an average of $3.79 million per company,…