Cloud Computing Security – Simply Speaking
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Cloud Computing Security – Simply Speaking

You have to write a group report for a class. A member of your group suggests using Google Docs so you can collaborate and write the whole thing online. Everyone likes the idea and it works great. Now you’d like to use a service like Google Docs
for other purposes, but you’re concerned about security and privacy. Welcome to cloud computing security, simply speaking. Cloud computing services such as the ones offered
by Microsoft, Google, and Zoho give you the ability to collaborate online with people
around the world. You can write documents, edit spreadsheets,
organize presentations, create drawings, share files, and more. There are also cloud-based services offered by Penn State, such as blogs, wikis, and personal Web space. Using these kinds of services to collaborate
can make your life a lot easier. However, there is a risk that private information
in these spaces can be seen by other people. This can happen in several ways. For example, when changing the settings on a document, it is possible to accidentally share it with everyone. If a member of your group has a weak password
and someone guesses that password, then any information you’ve shared with that person
will be exposed. Or maybe you shared a document with your roommate,
who shared it with her boyfriend who shared it with his friends. So what should you do? Obviously, you should have a strong password and
be careful about the settings on documents. But the best thing you can do is to be careful
about the kind of information you share. Go ahead and use these services for things that
you don’t need to protect. Things like drafts of papers and presentations,
a bibliography of research articles, notes from classes, grocery lists,
and your club’s plans for THON. Don’t use these services for things that should
be kept private like lists of passwords, credit card numbers, or your student aid application. Avoid sharing things that could cause you
or someone else to become embarrassed such as medical records, grades, and the kinds of photos and videos that you wouldn’t want your parents to see. If you’re collecting confidential research data or working on projects that require government clearance, you’ll need to use something that provides more security
than these cloud computing services. By using a little common sense and these guidelines, you can use cloud computing services without putting
your information at risk. This has been cloud computing security, simply speaking. To get more information about security topics, visit the Be Safe site at This video was produced by Penn State University and is available for use under a Creative Commons license.


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