The Cloud

The Cloud covers a range of different services including software, tools and hardware, and helps process data, manage it, and store it. It lets you access a range of content from apps to contacts, emails, messages, videos, documents, music and photos—from any device, whenever and wherever you like.

Many companies like Amazon, Apple (iCloud) and Google (Google Drive) offer various cloud services, including cloud storage, and most Australians now use a cloud service often without even knowing it.

Should I be worried about using cloud storage?

Cloud services can differ widely in the level of technical expertise, security and customer support that they offer.

If you are in, or have left an abusive relationship, there is a risk that the abuser could have access to anything you have stored in the cloud, especially if the abuser set up the account.

To help reduce your risk, change passwords and disable location settings for all your devices.

Remember that Apple’s Family Sharing, its Windows equivalent and similar apps for android can involve sharing locations, media and purchases within the family. This can give any member the ability to track, lock or wipe another member’s device. These features could be used by an abusive ex-partner. Manage this by leaving the group, changing passwords or no longer sharing your/your children’s location with other members of the group.

If you are experiencing technology-facilitated abuse, consider hiding or deleting any media, such as photographs, that you no longer wish to share.

Keeping information secure

Good online safety habits will help keep your information secure in the cloud. These include:

  • using strong passwords, and not sharing them with anyone.
    Our videos on passcodes for Apple, lock codes for Android and passwords for PCs can help
  • changing passwords and hiding the location of your devices as well as things like photos and documents
  • using different passwords for different sites
  • logging out of sites once you have finished, rather than just closing them
  • using secure and trustworthy sites (those with ‘https://’ in the website address and a locked padlock icon in the browser)
  • researching customer satisfaction and scamwatch websites before buying from a site for the first time.
    Learn more in our safe browsing video.
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You might also want to think about having a back-up strategy for your information. Physical back-ups, such as saving to a USB or portable hard drive, are a good idea for important information and photos, and cloud back-ups (to another cloud service) give extra safeguards too. Depending on your situation, you could also ask a friend to keep these for you. 
Keeping anti-virus software up-to-date is a ‘good housekeeping’ habit to learn. See staysmartonline for help with device security.

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