In early 2020, some Google Photos users got a pretty terrifying notification — their private photos or videos were accidentally uploaded to other users' accounts. This is only one of many similarly embarrassing (for companies) and worrisome (for users) data breaches or bugs in recent years. Websites like www.haveibeenpwned.com let you check how many times your email address has been exposed in known breaches. Email is a huge concern because it's usually the key that opens the lock to your personal data.
The good news, we're getting savvy not only to the sinister hackers and having our data stolen from third-parties but also about protecting our privacy from well-known companies who harvest our data and sell that to advertisers and other bad actors.
But more than that, Big Tech companies, like Google, DO NOT want to be your forever Storage Locker - even though they tricked us into thinking they did. Just last week Google announced massive changes to its Google Photos and Google Drive service, that put your data at risk of being deleted. Based on this alone, it's time to own your data and take back control. This is why setting up your own Personal is more important than ever.
Here's why data security, privacy, and ownership matter as well as the basic and more advanced steps you can take to keep all your data safe and accessible in a personal cloud solution.
Why You Should Care About Data Security (and Privacy)
Data security isn't just to protect against black hat hackers on the dark web; your drawer of smartphones (old and current), external drives, old laptops, or tablets hold a lot of information that can be vulnerable to theft or destruction.
Every piece of digital information we have has a risk associated with it. Beyond photos, we need to worry about financial, health, tax documents, and even basic information like birth dates or addresses are all things that you only want to share with people you trust - and on your own terms.
Just like you'd lock up your important documents or put a passcode on your phone, the digital pieces of your life should have protection from unwanted exposure. Hackers can be experts at stitching this information together.
But, keeping tabs on your data is only one part of the equation; recently there's been a broader conversation about data privacy or the access that large corporations have to your information and what they're allowed to do with it, sometimes even without your knowledge. This is true even for large cloud providers who have terms of service you might not have read or understood when you signed up for them. Using a personal cloud solution, like Amber X, is one way to claw back some of that control and keep your data to yourself. See our take on this in our latest video and how to keep those unwanted selfies from floating in someone else's cloud! ☁️
Make Your Data Safer on the Internet
It can feel like the convenience and benefits of being online come at the expense of your privacy. If you feel that way, you're not alone. According to Pew Research, an astonishing 7 out of 10 Americans feel their data is less secure today than it was five years ago.
And, many of the situations where your data is at risk might not have anything to do with you! For instance, you might shop online and learn months or years later that your data was included in a breach. (Remember Twitter's big hack earlier this year that resulted in big-name accounts like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates tweeting out scammy bitcoin offers?) These situations can happen at companies large and small, and hackers have become increasingly sophisticated at breaking in and getting the data they want.
But, for every situation that you can't control, there are things you can do to take back control, from simple things like strong passwords, strict social media settings, and two-factor authentication to the more advanced options like VPNs, hard drive encryption, or personal firewalls. Essentially, it comes down to knowing what your options are and making decisions to protect your privacy. The good news, with Amber X, it no longer requires that you have to give up any convenience that you have become accustomed to with the “cloud”.
Locking Down Your Personal Data
Beyond the things we just mentioned, there are ways to keep your personal data secure. One of these is to upload and store your data only with providers you trust, or alternatively, you can build your own personal cloud system. Relying on providers with bad track records for privacy means having to become an expert on how to navigate their systems to meet your (privacy and convenience) needs. But usually, there are more questions than answers when engineering your own solution, and do you really have time for that?
On the other hand, a solution like Amber X which has been designed exclusively for security and convenience alleviates the need to fiddle around with security settings that keep your data secure. Not to mention avoiding the headache of cobbling together discrete components, parts, and pieces (and having an eyesore on your desk).
If you're a data-geek (like us) and want to know more about what's under the hood, check out our blog post where we go into all the details about our own distributed cloud storage service, AmberCloud and how we protect your data, coming in and out of Amber X.
Cloud convenience has hypnotized many consumers to become more lax about how their data is collected and shared. However, in recent months, keeping up-to-date on data security has become a top of mind concern. In a second Pew Research study on American's view of data security and privacy, “81% of the public say that the potential risks they face because of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits.” But instead of feeling out of control or helpless in the face of large companies with opaque user agreements, digitally savvy consumers can instead use new and more secure technologies to keep their data accessible, secure, and firmly in their control - with Amber X.
When it comes to your new Personal Cloud, don't compromise on privacy, security, encryption. See how Amber X can help you Bring Your Data Home™! Now available on Indiegogo at Super Early Bird pricing of $129*.
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Chief Marketing Officer