In our most recent blog series, we talked about how to protect yourself from identity theft online. (Check it out here if you missed it.) But what about “the cloud”? How safe is it?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “the cloud” generally refers to any internet-based tool or application. If you use Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo for your email service, you’ve been working in the cloud. Back in the day (ha!), we had to use desktop-based software (like Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop) to do the things we wanted to. But today, we can use those same services in the cloud. (Office and Photoshop now offer web-based applications that are just as powerful as their desktop counterparts.)
Clearly, more and more of our lives and businesses are internet-dependent and cloud-oriented. So how do companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and event Intuit (for QuickBooks Online) keep their cloud services safe from hackers? The short answer is that they use advanced encryption techniques and a complex web of servers to keep their sites secure.
Let’s take a look at Intuit and QuickBooks Online as an example. According to their website:
“QuickBooks Online uses the same technology used by online banks and brokerages to transmit your private data over the Internet… In addition to always maintaining two copies of your data, we automatically back up your updated data every day. It’s stored on firewall protected, redundant servers so your data is safe from hardware and software failures, hackers and viruses.”
Do you bank online? Do you use an app on your phone or tablet to check your bank balance or keep track of your investments? If you do, you’re already in the cloud and relying on the redundant systems your bank or brokerage firm uses to keep your data safe.
Some experts even say that storing data in the cloud is safer than storing it on your own computer.
At Team Holly CPA, we have kept your data safe on our secure servers for the last 10 years. But over time, we’ve come to understand that we can only protect our side of the equation. In our next post, we’ll share some exciting news about how we will be protecting you even further this coming tax season. Stay tuned! 🙂