Last Updated: 27 September, 2020
I’m going to come straight out and admit that I’m scared of the cloud. Not the internet, you can probably tell I love the internet and the opportunities to connect, share and browse. What scares me is the cloud where files are stored online and websites are linked. For me it is about a lack of control.
Firstly, it is about access to my data when and where I want. If my information is only in the cloud then I need internet access and trust in the provider that they won’t have down time, have adequate security to prevent attacks and they don’t stop the service.
Secondly, I have a concern about giving people the right to use my text or images. Of course, I know this blog is public so people can copy it, but I’m not giving them the right to do it. I don’t like that it is often in a service’s terms and conditions that they have the right to use the content you add to their service, for example, Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities says
“You specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).” Facebook 3rd March 2014
Thirdly, I’m wary of using one service to log in to another or giving applications access to other sites because they often request access rights that seem unnecessary to me and it makes me feel wary. Yes it is easy to only have to log in once and apps can provide some great features, but what might they do with the access granted.
So these three points highlight two things about me – I’m suspicious and I want control.
I keep as much information as I can on my own computer, for example I download my emails from my ISP to Outlook on my laptop. I love Google Calendar because I can share calendars with other people and we have several between the family, however, I also keep a copy in Outlook. Unfortunately I haven’t found an automatic method to do this so I need to remember to use MyPhoneExplorer software (this also syncs my contacts and text messages).
I understand we often use web services for free and the service needs to make money to continue, but I don’t like the idea they could use my photographs or videos without asking or even telling me. To be honest, I can’t see them wanting to use any of my images but I feel suspicious about why they want the right. This is why I self host this blog and host my own photographs using Coppermine Gallery and Piwigo and use links on Facebook or Twitter to tell my friends about them. However, looking at those Facebook Terms again I’m now concerned this is not good enough because the images maybe “in connection with Facebook” (what does that mean and why can’t the terms be simple and clear). But because my sites don’t connect to other services it is harder to share pictures and that is why I finally joined Instagram recently; although I keep some control by limiting the topics of my pictures.
I admit there other things I worry about such as sharing too much information and identify theft, but the lack of control is currently my biggest fear. Of course as my children grow older and use the internet beyond the Cbeebies website I suspect my fears will change but I hope my concerns about what they are accessing and sharing are a few years away.
So, what do you think? Am I justified or do you think I’m unnecessarily paranoid?
This post is my entry into the Check and Secure challenge. For more advice on family safety online, see Mums on Security. Although this topic has been on my mind to write about for some time, this challenge has just got me to actually get fingers to the keyboard.