Back up data from cloud service providers

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What is a cloud?

A cloud refers to an external data storage device that is not located at home or in the office, but on a server. This is connected to the internet. The advantage: data can be called up at any time and from many devices.

Clouds can be used in different ways. You can either use it for your own file management: If you store certain documents or photos centrally with a cloud service provider, you have access to them anytime, anywhere.

Often, however, cloud storage is also used in the background, for example when you use apps. In this case, the provider operates cloud storage, the content of which you can only access indirectly via apps and programs.

Clouds as private storage

Central servers and the associated programs for uploading and retrieving files are operated by some service providers on a large scale - well-known examples are Google Drive or Dropbox.

If you have set up your own cloud with a service provider, you can access it at any time - via computer, smartphone, tablet or even smartwatch. You can store photos, documents, videos and more and call them up when necessary.

The user interfaces and functions are mostly similar to what you know from computers: The files are in folders that can be individually named, moved and copied.

A cloud can also be used as a backup option. You can conveniently save photos and documents from your smartphone in Dropbox, luckycloud and the like.

Clouds as storage for app data

The cloud also appears in another way on smartphones: as cloud storage that is directly linked to the functionality of all kinds of apps.

For example, if you have installed and used a calendar app on several devices, your appointments are in the provider's cloud and are synchronized from there across your devices.

You can also synchronize browser settings like this: If you log in to Chrome or Firefox and, for example, define your homepage, this selection is saved in the provider's cloud. You will automatically see the same browser start page on all of your devices.

The functions for the complete backup of your smartphone data from Google and Apple also work with cloud storage.

In this video we explain how secure your backup is with Google or Apple.

Cloud security

The great advantage of a cloud - it offers access to central storage from many devices - is also its weak point. Data can be lost from servers on the Internet and user data can be stolen.

Damage can also occur in the immediate vicinity: if a single device connected to the cloud falls into the wrong hands, documents can be compromised or deleted.

Therefore, you should always protect all your devices - computers and smartphones - with a screen lock. Some cloud services also offer the option of disconnecting individual devices from the cloud in an emergency and deleting files remotely.

By the way: some cloud services specialize in privacy and security. While large providers such as Google Drive and Dropbox theoretically have access to your stored data at any time, the alternatives Tresorit and luckycloud offer end-to-end encrypted storage spaces.

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