Whenever I talk with any members of my extended family about computers, they invariably bring up “cloud computing.” They are utterly confused about what it is or what it means. All they know is that it scares them. They’re deeply troubled by it. And I think it’s fair to say that this fear isn’t isolated. A lot of people are troubled by the cloud, which—thanks in large part to the mysterious connotations of its name—comes across as ephemeral, fleeting, and baffling. I can’t help but think that had the name evolved into something like “offsite vault computing,” then perhaps it would have more supporters today.

Because the fact is cloud storage—which is largely what we’re talking about it when we think of “the cloud,” at least from the perspective of home computing—is extremely safe and is a relatively simple concept. You might also call it “Storage as a Service (STaaS)”; essentially, for a certain cost or subscription fee, a company hosts the storage of your data over the Internet. It probably goes without saying, but these hosting companies—at least, the reputable companies—use the latest and most potent security techniques to ensure the safety of the data that they store on their server networks. They’re constantly updating their high-end security software to be absolutely sure that your data is protected from malicious users and infections.

Can you say the same thing about the data-protection measures you take in your computing environment? Do you go to the same lengths to protect your important financial files or journals or photos?

(Read the rest at Residential AV Presents: Connected Home.)