If you haven't begun using the cloud for your sharing and storage needs, its time you started using it. It can be so frustrating when you don't have instant access to something you really need, especially when that thing is digital. After all, we are living in the digital age. When we create an image or document on one computer or device it should be instantaneously accessible on any other device we may use.

Data storage

Data has always has a portable solution but it has usually involved carrying a physical object to store it (a floppy disk, CD or pen-drive for example). Whilst carrying such an object from one place to another can provide a trustworthy method, there is still a risk the object could break or go missing. This is also true of backing up your personal files onto an external hard-drive; the data is safe if the object is safe.

I'm sure you are all very familiar with social networking. It is becoming increasingly popular for people to upload their photos to sites like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. Not only are these websites an excellent way to share images, they are also a way to keep your images safe should anything happen to your computer. Similarly, Google Docs provides a service for your document sharing and storage needs.

Trusting the cloud

Your personal data is sacred and should treated with the greatest care and respect. So with the ever increasing dangers of phishing scams it's difficult to put complete trust in an online storage/sharing solution. It is important to use complex passwords or even password manager software, as well as keeping your browser up to date. If you are using a PC, ensure your antivirus suite contains an anti-phishing module for that extra safety-net. I recently read a great guide on how to avoid phishing scams. It can be found here, I urge you to read it if you are anxious about trusting the web with your data.

Instead of explaining how incredible the Dropbox application is, I invite you to watch the short promotional video and try it out for yourself.

I have just recently signed up to the service myself. I still use Facebook, Picasa and Flickr for photo sharing/storage, and occasionally Google Docs for text. But Dropbox provides perfect storage for work projects, zipped files, and PDFs. I still back up my files on an external Hard-Drive, but I can sleep at night knowing the world won't end if it inevitably stops spinning (the drive, not the world).

Dropbox initially gives you 5GB of storage to start with for free. However if you sign up using this referral link we will both get an additional 500MB of storage. If you join their referral scheme and get more people to sign up, you can gain even more storage space (up to 16GB). So what's stopping you? Sign up and take advantage if this right now!


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