TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Is your data safe in the cloud?

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

Saturday, March 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Question: I know everyone is pushing the cloud, but I don't trust it. Is my data really safe when I put it up there?

Answer: For the most part, yes. The more popular cloud companies — Dropbox (iTunes/Android), Google Drive, Amazon, etc. — have advanced servers that you can usually trust for reliability. You're much more likely to have your own computer crash than for those companies to have a total server meltdown, although the occasional outage isn't unexpected. Now, you do have to worry a little bit about security. Between hacks on high-profile sites and companies like Google giving your data to law enforcement, you might think twice. However, that's true of any online service, and you're just one out of millions of users. Just make sure you know how a company responds to these privacy concerns before you use any of its services.

Q: I heard that Google keeps my search history. Is this true? Can I delete it?

A: Yes and yes. You can find what sort of history Google has on you at history. google.com/history. You might have to sign in with your Google account to see everything. Click the check box next to any item and click “Remove item” to get rid of it.

Once your information is removed, click the gear icon in the upper right corner and choose Settings. Select Turn off your Web history to stop most of Google's recording. However, Google will still keep some things for its own use. To stop it completely, switch to a more anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo.

Email Kim Komando at techcomments@usatoday.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Coca-Cola shaves incentives for executives
  2. Highmark to increase premiums, limit access to health care in new plans
  3. Bond experts fear inevitable sell-off
  4. Google Pittsburgh instrumental in fight against hackers, co-directors say
  5. Consol Energy cutting retiree health benefits, phasing out pension
  6. Canadian company wins bid for casino
  7. New models, China sales key to GM’s future, Barra tells investors
  8. Truck deals give auto sales a lift
  9. Shares in joint pipeline venture enjoy brisk sales
  10. Retirement planning is about more than just money
  11. Jobless baby boomers struggle to get back in game
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.