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Tuesday’s Tip – Is Your Genealogy In The Cloud?

Life in the cloud

As more and more genealogists and family historians leverage technology for research, many are using “The Cloud” whether they realize it or not. And then there are those who purposely store their data in a personal cloud (you can check out what we’re talking about here). Doing so allows them to access their research from anywhere in the world and on practically any type of computer or mobile device.

The Cloud: Not Just For Genealogy

The Cloud is being used in more and more ways that impact our daily lives. Here are some areas you may not have considered – see if you are using the cloud these ways:

  • Do you stream music/videos from the cloud? Streaming services can give you access to millions of files or you can host your own files to share home movies with family and friends!

  • How do you use the cloud to streamline your work and stay productive in and out of the office?

  • How do you use social media, email or instant messaging to stay in touch with friends and family?

  • How would your life be different if you didn’t have access to the cloud?

Here’s a neat infographic that outlines how many users are accessing The Cloud on a daily basis:

Life in the cloud

My Personal Cloud Experience

I use The Cloud in many different ways and each and every day. I couldn’t run my genealogy business without it especially since I travel to speaking engagements all the time. I don’t have time to copy data to a USB flash drive, remember to take it with me, and then hope I don’t leave it behind somewhere.

My music is on the cloud, my genealogy research is on the cloud, and more and more programs that I use – Evernote in particular – are cloud-based.

Staying Safe in The Cloud

Here are some tips on making sure that your data is safe when using The Cloud:

  • Use a reliable cloud platform – one that you’ve heard about or that other genealogists are using.
  • Look for a program that offers encryption of data.
  • Read the Terms of Services for any cloud program you select and understand what they can do with your data. Also, always have an “exit strategy” – meaning, an easy way to export your data and move it to another platform.
  • Make sure you have a strong password in place when accessing your data.
  • Consider not placing certain data – financial and health-related – on The Cloud.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

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