Considering the headlines iCloud has generated over the past few years, it’s understandable why users of the service may feel some anxiety towards storing their personal information on it. These headlines include celebrity hackings and phishing scams, among others.
A new survey by Clutch, a leading B2B ratings and reviews platform, found that nearly half of iPhone users feel only “slightly” or “not at all” confident with storing personal information on iCloud.
Despite this, iCloud is one of the most popular cloud storage services in the United States, with at least 782 million users.
Matthew Bookspan, CEO of Blacktip IT Services, contributed expert commentary to the survey, providing context and analysis to the fear mongering that sometimes pervades iCloud. He argues why iCloud is a safe service and how better technology education can assuage fears.
iPhone users feel more confident about the security of their device itself, with 76% of respondents ranking it as “very” or “somewhat” secure.
Bookspan spoke strongly about iPhones’ security. “Compared to the other major platform out there for mobility, the Apple iOS platform is incredibly secure,” he said. “The data is encrypted completely on the device. You have an encrypted fingerprint reader which is local to the device. Nothing is stored in the cloud. All the data that’s on the device is on the device.”
In terms of iCloud, Bookspan partially attributed the discomfort users feel towards storing personal information on the device to semantics. “I believe that a lot of people have an inherent insecurity toward the ‘cloud’ because it’s been marketing speak for awhile,” he said. “What does that mean? Frankly, it means a bunch of big buildings with a lot of big servers holding your data. These facilities are replicated all over the world. That’s the cloud.”
This abstract notion can confuse and unnerve people, Bookspan explained. “I think people have an inherent distrust of things they don’t understand.”
Yet, these fears can be combated with knowledge. In fact, the Clutch survey found a correlation between comfort with storing personal information on iCloud versus simple knowledge of the function of iCloud.
Bookspan was not surprised by this result. “I think our society is deeply uninformed. From a technology standpoint, that is just a systemic issue that people are ill-informed,” he said.
Yet, abundant resources exist for those that do want to be educated on the technology they use. Bookspan mentioned resources found on Apple.com, Macworld.com, as well as in-store trainings available at Apple stores and local colleges with basic classes in computing.
Furthermore, Bookspan said that many of the iCloud security breaches that have made headlines over the past few years happened at least partially because of user error. If users can better educate themselves, and thus learn about simple security measures they can take, such as two-factor authentication or being able to identify a phishing scam, then their data will most likely remain safe.
You can read the full report on Clutch’s website here.