The minute you begin to think you have your digital world in order, something changes the paradigm and you have to rethink almost everything! It took decades for the telephone to replace the telegram but only a few years for the optical disk to replace the floppy. And now “The Cloud” offers to replace most of your local storage devices.

Well, my thinking is… don’t let it!

The “Cloud” is just a euphemism for someone else’s storage device using the internet to get at it. Usually this is by wifi (or even a cellphone’s data connection) if you are using a mobile device. Security issues notwithstanding (and there are realistic concerns) this can be very slow so I only put copies of I really need on a cloud service and certainly not files with significant private information.

As an iPhone user iCloud is very convenient for syncing calendars and contacts or accessing various files while on the go and, truth be told, it would be hard to keep things in order without this functionality! We also love running a slideshow of our own photos using iCloud and iTV. And, DrobBox (or a similar service) comes in very handy for working with others on shared files. However I certainly don’t want all of my personal and business data on someone else’s storage devices.

Instead I prefer to use “cloud services” as selectively as possible. This exposes me to a minimal loss of data if anything should happen but more important, a minimal invasion in the event of a cloud break-in. And as cloud services become more common they also become more imperative which in turn means that they cease to be as cheap as they were when we were new and being sold on their usefulness.

I’ll have to do a check on that statement and see if I’ve been lulled into being too passive and letting things pile up in “the cloud”.