If you are looking at free options for safe cloud storage there are several free cloud storage options available to self-published writers.
Services such as Dropbox, iCloud, BT Datastore and Amazon Cloud Services are all good systems, some of which are free for small amounts of stored data and some which offer encryption as an option.
However, users need to be careful about the type of encryption these companies offer as often they could be weak. The fundamental flaw is that in many circumstances the company that is holding your data will also hold the key to de-crypt it.
It is always wise to keep the encryption and the data storage separate and so users should either encrypt data themselves and move it to the storage provider still encrypted or pass the data through a third party to handle the encryption and then for the data to be passed on to the storage company. In this way it is only the data owner who knows all the components of access to the data i.e. the password, encryption key and location of the data.
Paid Versus Free Cloud Storage
You have an issue here in the word ‘free’. Office 365 does give free storage, but you have to have a 365 account and that costs. Dropbox is free upto 2gb and you can get more free space if you introduce people so of these two Dropbox is the ‘free’ one.
There are other services such as GoogleDrive which give 15gb of free space, but you need a Google account just like iCloud and OneDrive also requiring you to have an account and have you lock into their services. This can be a pain sometimes.
If you not interested in Non application linked storage services such as Dropbox, then consider Amazon Cloud Drive, Box and Spideroak. They are all good services, but are in some cases not as flexible as Dropbox in that sharing folders or accessing the files held in the cloud on multiple devices is not as easy.
So if you're looking for a simple to use, flexible and reasonably secure cloud storage solution that was totally free and not tying you to a suite of applications consider Dropbox. If you need more space, sign up all your writing friends to increase your free storage space!
Although - that can be a real faff - you may need to store documents and you need lots more storage space, but you're also waiting for your friends to open their accounts. That all could take time and you're itching to get safe storage for your writing manuscripts
Google Drive offers much more storage than Dropbox and most writers have a Google account. Take a look at this site which offers lots of alternatives to Dropbox and other cloud storage facilities.
Safe Password Coding
Last year there was a famous iCloud hack and intimate photos of well-known people were published online. Some experts say it wasn’t a problem with the cloud storage itself, but with passwords. Hackers used a tactic called social engineering, which basically means they used publicly available information to crack passwords and security questions.
As Technology has evolved it’s given millions of people the ability to share their lives with their family and friends online. Writers are able to share their writing process with their readers and self-published writers share their self-publishing experience with other writers.
The experts warn internet users using personal pieces of info in their passwords. The normal password to remember are things like a mother’s names or parts of home addresses and kids or your own birthdays.
This is definately not secure because remember that you publicly put this information into your social profiles. With some simple research, you could become an easy target for hackers looking to break into your accounts and steal personal data. This is what happened with iCloud, rather than there being a flaw in the technology itself.
Paula Wynne is the founder of Book Hub. She started Book Hub out of a need to market and promote her own fiction. As well as running Book Hub, Paula is an author with several published books.
Paula's Writers' Resource Series features the following books: Pimp My Fiction: How to Write a Novel with The Ultimate List of Creative Writing Books to Create A Plot & Build Character; A~Z Writers’ Character Quirks: A~ Z of Behaviours, Foibles, Habits, Mannerisms & Quirks for Writers’ to Create Fictional and 101 Writers’ Scene Settings: Unique Location Ideas & Sensory Details for Writers’ to Create Vivid Scene.