Ask the Expert: Why you should back up files to the cloud

When you send email, you sometimes send photos and other files as attachments. But did you know that thanks to the integrated Cloud, you can easily save and access your files in your inbox? As our cloud expert Tobias shows, keeping your photos and documents in the familiar secure environment can be a big help in your daily life. blog: Tobias, you are a big fan of cloud computing and of course you head up the department that’s responsible for the Cloud. Why do you encourage people to use the cloud?

Tobias: Cloud technology stands for peace of mind. When it’s done right, the cloud is a safety net and a reliable digital assistant. If I urgently need an important document, I can count on it being there in my cloud. I don’t have to worry about what happens if my hard drive gets fried or I lose my thumb drive – I have backups of my most important files in the cloud and I can access them at any time, no matter what device I’m using. It doesn’t matter if I’m at home or on the beach in San Francisco. blog: So you’re saying that the cloud makes our lives easier?

Tobias: Exactly. Using the cloud saves storage space on my devices, I don’t have to worry about viruses and I always have a backup. My data is available on my phone, laptop, web browser – wherever I have an internet connection. That’s the rational argument. It also means I can sit back and relax because I know that my important files and data are safe on the servers of an internet provider that I trust. And with the Cloud, I don’t have to worry about the security or privacy of my data. Convenience plus reliability – it all adds up. blog: Refrigerators, computers, smartphones… History shows us that technical innovations always change our lives, our consumption patterns, and how we handle information. Is the cloud another example of this?

Tobias: Absolutely. But unlike a refrigerator, the cloud is not something we can see or touch. Cloud technology has left its mark on our behavior in a lot of ways, however – it’s what makes a lot of other things possible. When we shop on the internet, stream music and play online games, the cloud is usually involved. What’s also evolving is how we handle personal data and content. For years now, a lot of people have been in the habit of saving their data right on their computer. Saving it to the cloud means changing your habits – you have to get used to backing up your data there regularly. But more and more people are doing it. blog: …but sometimes not until it’s too late.

Tobias: Yes, unfortunately. Not until a virus wipes their hard drive, their memory stick gets lost, they permanently delete an important attachment or a device dies. That’s when they start looking for solutions, but sometimes it’s too late. The photos, videos and documents are gone and can’t be recovered.

 “Cloud technology stands for peace of mind. When it’s done right, the cloud is a safety net and a reliable digital assistant.” blog: There are more and more functions and features in the mailbox, like Online Office for working on different types of documents. What role does the cloud play in these developments?

Tobias: A pretty big one. The Cloud lets me save email attachments as well as my Online Office documents in a single click – photos, invoices, presentations, and much more. Plus all the information that is important to me and has an emotional value. It’s also possible to share private information with others using the Cloud – you can create share links and even password-protected links. That’s a lot more secure than many other sharing methods. blog: Is that what makes the combination of email and cloud so unbeatable?

Tobias: That’s right – when I get an email attachment, I can save it to my cloud and access it anywhere. That means invoices, travel documents, receipts, photos, presentations – the list goes on and on. And I can send photos or documents from my cloud to one or multiple recipients. It’s a great organizer, because when I’m using my email I’m always just one click away from the  important data in my cloud. To me, it’s the perfect combination. blog: You have us convinced! But a lot of people are still leery of saving their data in the cloud. Why do you think this is?

Tobias: It’s human nature to crave security. It makes sense to want to save your data on your own hard drive in your own home. You can see it, you can “touch” it. So you might feel like you have more control, especially since you are not entrusting someone else with your data. However, unfortunately you can’t always trust your devices, because of course sometimes they break. And there are other factors that are beyond your control – theft, fire, computer viruses. Or human error, like when we lose our phone or drop it in a lake. blog: Generally speaking, are young people more relaxed about using the cloud?

Tobias: I’d put it differently – they are more in the habit of doing so. Young people grew up with cloud services. Uploading, streaming, sharing data and information – these are things they do every day. They take the conveniences of the digital world for granted, use a lot of different applications and don’t really think twice about it. But there are also a lot of older people who make use of and appreciate the cloud. They are looking for a reliable service they can trust – and that is exactly what they get from us.
Photo illustration with virtual cloud service icons over open pair of hands
With backups of your files in the cloud, you can access them at any time, no matter what device. blog: What do you think could make people feel more comfortable about using cloud services?

Tobias: I believe that the easier they are to use, the more trust there will be in services like the cloud. If it’s too complicated, that scares people off. That’s why we are working on making the cloud as intuitive as possible to use. We want to show people that the Cloud and all the other handy features – not to mention the mobile app – are perfect for keeping everything organized. You don’t need 1,000 different apps and places where you save things. blog: And presumably data security and protection are concerns?

Tobias: Absolutely. And that’s why we place the highest priority on the security of data and the availability of backups. It’s our bread and butter, and we work hard to earn the trust of our customers each and every day. We want our users to know that they are in full control of their cloud. For example, if you send a link to share a file with someone, you can add a password. And you can revoke the share rights to the file at any time. As a provider, we also guarantee that we won’t analyze our customers’ cloud content or use it for advertising purposes. blog: And what about sustainability? One common criticism of the cloud is that it uses so much energy.

Tobias: Our servers for the Cloud – just like our email – are powered by 100% renewable energy under regular operation. blog: One last question: What’s new with the Cloud?

Tobias: We recently launched our brand-new secure cloud software for Windows and Mac computers. It makes data backup even easier and more accessible for anyone with a email account. What’s especially cool about this sync tool is that you can select files to be available offline, so you can still access and work with them even if you don’t have an internet connection. blog: Thanks for talking to us today, Tobias!
Tobias Kemper joined 1&1 Mail and Media in 2021 as Head of Cross Platform Products, where he is transforming our Cloud into an organizer for today’s digital life. He previously worked in Silicon Valley, where he also developed a fascination for birds of prey. He is the father of a wonderful daughter and enjoys minimalist running.

Images: 1&1/Shutterstock

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