Thursday, 13 October 2011

How safe are your files?

 I don't know about you, but I'm starting to use Cloud technology more and more to store my precious digital files with little thought over what might happen to them in future. Now, I wouldn't blame you if you started scratching your head and wondering what I'm talking about... Isn't Cloud one of those fancy techie terms us mere mortals don't need to worry about, or even just a fluffy thing in the sky? Well, actually, I'll bet a great deal more of you are using the Cloud than you realise. Anyone use Hotmail? Facebook? Flickr? YouTube?

Ha! Gotcha! Yes, the Cloud is in simple terms, just a server sitting in a data centre somewhere that stores files. While the likes of little old me only really use its vast capacity in a tiny way, there are plenty of others who dip in and out on a regular basis and take real advantage of its flexibility and cost-efficiencies. A good example might be an online retailer. They have their own servers which cover off their day-to-day needs, but on the first day of their 50% discount sale, they are going to have a huge spike in traffic. Enter the Cloud - space on a server as and when you need it.
You might be forgiven for wondering why I am suddenly posting all 'techie'. Well, you see, I do rather a lot of work for Rackspace - one of these Cloud companies... Today they released some fascinating research that they'd compiled together with Goldsmiths College and the Uni of London. You can read the full report here.

In a nutshell, one of their key findings was that for every 10 of us storing our online treasures outside of our own hard drives, only one has thought about what might happen to them when we're gone. A bit morbid perhaps, but I wouldn't want my digital inheritance lost in the clouds!

Here's a quote from the Boss:
Fabio Torlini, VP at Rackspace, says: “The cloud is becoming more and more part of our everyday work and personal life. With the large investment so many UK adults seem to be making in digital treasures, it’s imperative that people consider the associated security and legacy implications. Businesses have a great opportunity now to shape consumer understanding of cloud computing and build trust. It’s important to remember that although cloud is for everyone, it’s not for everything.”

The survey respondents had some interesting thoughts about the future too:

  • 31%  believe that all their music will be stored and/or accessed online, and they won’t own any CDs
  • 28% believe the DVD would be a collector’s item
  • 25% believe they will no longer print photos, just store them in the cloud
  • 14% said they believe that they wouldn’t own any physical books, just e-books
  • 11% believe they won’t own a TV, but would instead use their computer or similar device to access programmes
  • 16% believe their household appliances, e.g. their fridge, will access the internet and, for instance, automatically order more essentials when they are running low
Still think the Cloud is just for techies?


  1. At first glance...I thought the title of this post safe are your FLIES....
    So, I was confused for a whole other eason...haha!

  2. reason....apparently I can't spell either ;P

  3. I've definitelyl heard of the Cloud but not yet convinced to do so. Ha!

    Also, the stats list is very interesting but I have to ask...our fridge ordering food that we're out of for us???? Really???? :D

  4. Alright, where do I sign up for that fridge?

    What WILL happen to all this digital stuff when we are no longer here? It's kind of weird to think that things that used to be tangible, like music on a record or CD, are now just...what? floating around invisibly in cyber space?

  5. I've thought about this a bit - sort of a passing thought - if I were to pop my clogs what would happen to my dearest blog, my pinterest pics etc - I would like to think my kids would do something with it - but what? And horrors or horror what if that big sun blast - that all the dooms day conspiracy theories go on and on about hits and all our technology gets fried - then what? Now you've got me all paranoid - I think!

  6. I didn't know about the cloud. I store everything on an external hard drive - away from my computer - so my family all know where all my stuff is - this also keeps my laptop fairly free of clutter.


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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