Three of the most common questions I am asked about cloud computing is:
1. Where is my document stored?
The concept of a document sitting on a server in an unknown location can be a little confusing. The following links may help you and your students visualise what this looks like. They show Google Data Centres, but the technology is similar whether it be Dropbox, Facebook, Microsoft or similar company.
Google street view: Inside a data centre (can you find the extra security measure installed in the data centre?).
Video tour of a Google Data Centre
Here is a link to a YouTube playlist that shows you a number of different data centres, including energy efficient designs
2. How secure is my data?
We could go into the details to describe processes in place to ensure the physical, logical and methodological security of data, but the average person just needs to know that companies go to great length to secure data. It’s a matter of reputation for them.
We don’t have much control over the methods these companies use to protect the data centres, but we can control how we manage passwords, what links we click in emails, and how we conduct ourselves online.
If you want to check out an amazing password management tool, have a look at lastpass.com. I have hundreds of online accounts, and no two passwords are the same. LastPass makes this possible.
3. What happens if the internet goes down?
All the major cloud storage providers have the ability for you to access your documents without an internet connection.
Dropbox enables you to sync files on your personal hard drive and the cloud
Microsoft enables you to save files to your computer and edit those documents via their suite of tools
Google has the ability to sync Google Drive with your computer (much like Dropbox) as well as work on your Docs, Slides and Sheets in offline mode.
Other links to data security
Google Workspace for Education Terms of Service
Google general Terms of Service
Microsoft O365 trust centre
Microsoft Privacy Statement