What is GDPR? Does Your Website Need to Be GDPR Compliant?

Ready or Not, Here Comes GDPR: What You Need to Know – and Do – to be Compliant

You’ve probably heard about the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that takes effect on May 25. Although it’s receiving scant attention in the news, GDPR is sounding a depth charge among American companies as it implements sweeping changes on businesses that deal with customer data – which may very well include yours. In other words, GDPR compliance isn’t just for EU-based companies. Here’s what you need to know.

What is GDPR?

In TechRepublic’s cut-to-the-chase terms, the GDPR was put in place to protect the personal data of EU residents and affects any business that has customers located in the EU. There is no restriction based on location, company size or scope of business, meaning any entity with an internet presence could be affected. As reported by TechRepublic’s Brandon Vigliarolo, fines for non-compliance will be high. Any service offered to an EU resident – regardless of whether the service is free and which country hosts its servers – has to play by the rules.

The Big Difference

Calling the GDPR a “seismic shift in the digital information space,” Kimberly Simpson – regional director of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) – noted the major differences in the approach to collecting personal data in the United States and the EU.

“In the U.S., personal information is often collected as a matter of course, with only an ‘opt out’ offered to consumers. By contrast, GDPR requires that in order to collect information from EU data subjects, an affirmative ‘opt in’ consent must be obtained that clearly specifies how the data will be used. Privacy policies must match. Then, once information is obtained, the EU data subject has the right to request that his or her data be deleted; that is, to invoke the right ‘to be forgotten.’ Incorrect information must be corrected upon request. These rights may seem simple enough, but when data is held in multiple locations, developing a process to handle such requests may be quite difficult.”

WordPress & GDPR Compliance

As implied in all this, a key part of GDPR is the business’ responsibility to secure customer data and websites to prevent data breaches, phishing and other forms of malicious online activity. Search Engine Watch turned attention to WordPress, noting that estimates show WordPress is used by 25-40% of the internet – and given its widespread popularity and usage, it is a prime target for hackers.

WordPress is prepared for GDPR, introducing its GDPR Compliance Team and providing information on how WordPress is paving the way with new privacy tools.

The GDPR Compliance Team is focusing on four main areas:

• Adding functionality to assist site owners in creating comprehensive privacy policies for their websites.

• Creating guidelines for plugins to become GDPR ready.

• Adding administration tools to facilitate compliance and encourage user privacy in general.

• Adding documentation to educate site owners on privacy, the main GDPR compliance requirements and on how to use the new privacy tools.

WordPress has also added a roadmap for adding privacy tools to core. These tools will help website owners comply with GDPR and other privacy laws and requirements.

Social Media Marketing and GDPR Compliance

Social media marketers now need to ensure that the data they collect – as well as how they collect the data – from EU members is GDPR complaint. According to Social Media Examiner, collection of personal data from an EU resident requires obtaining explicit consent, which generally means that the consent should be:

Voluntary – Have the user take affirmative action.

Specific and informed – Make sure people are aware of what you’re collecting, how it’s being used, and whom it may be shared with.

Unambiguous – Don’t disguise with redirects to terms of service overflowing with legal jargon.

Ready or Not, Here it Comes!

However, many organizations are still not ready. According to Crowd Research Partners’ 2018 GDPR Compliance Report, only 40% of organizations are either GDPR compliant or well on their way to compliance by this month’s deadline. Other key findings include:

• A whopping 60% of organizations are at risk of missing the GDPR deadline. Only 7% of surveyed organizations say they are in full compliance with GDPR requirements today, and 33% state they are well on their way to compliance deadline.

• While 80% confirm GDPR is a top priority for their organization, only half say they are knowledgeable about the data privacy legislation or have deep expertise; an alarming 25% have no or only very limited knowledge of the law.

• The primary compliance challenges are lack of expert staff (43%), closely followed by lack of budget (40%), and a limited understanding of GDPR regulations (31%). A majority of 56% expect their organization’s data governance budget to increase to deal with GDPR challenges.

Becoming GDPR compliant doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. Virtual Stacks Systems offers comprehensive web design, web hosting and social media marketing services that can help you make compliance seamless. Contact us to learn more.

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Shared Hosting – What it is and Why You Should Go for it


Shared Hosting – What it is and Why You Should Go for it

Shared hosting is like renting an apartment and having roommates. You have to share the common spaces, such as the living room, kitchen and bath. Of course, you are also expected to pay your share of the rent. This is a good solution if your needs are limited, you are on your own and cost is your main consideration. In shared hosting, all accounts must share the available resources with all the other accounts on the server – such as CPU time, memory, and disk space.

When it comes to website hosting, you have two crucial decisions to make as a business owner. Apart from selecting the company that hosts your website, you also have to choose a hosting option that meets all of your business requirements. Shared hosting is a popular, economical solution that may be right for your needs.

What is shared hosting?

When a single server is used to host several websites, it is known as shared hosting. It allows multiple websites to use a single server. The hosting package defines the server resources that you are allowed to use. In comparison, a dedicated hosting plan means that your website is the only site hosted on the server.

Shared hosting is by far the most economical option for hosting your website. It is best suited for businesses that are starting their operations and those looking for economical hosting options, as well as those that do not expect a high volume of traffic.

The most important consideration for a shared hosting plan is a package that offers adequate space and storage so that your operations won’t be hampered. The service package should offer sufficient disk space, FTP accounts, traffic, email accounts, databases and other services.

Shared Web hosting, Shared Web hosting company, Orlando Digital marketing company, Lake Mary Marketing Company

What are the Advantages of Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting has several advantages, including:

1.      It is cost effective – The biggest advantage of shared hosting is that it is affordable, and you don’t have to worry about investments. In fact, there is no initial investment required and you can get plans on a monthly basis. With intense competition in the web hosting market, it is not difficult to get a good deal for a 40 GB space. There are also packages available that offer unlimited space.

2.      It is convenient – It is difficult to concentrate on your business with the same focus when you have to look after the website management, as well. When you opt for shared hosting, you don’t have to worry about managing your website, as professionals handle the day-to-day operations.

3.      It is customizable – Despite the fact that resources are shared, the website is managed by the webmaster with the help of control panel tools. The control panel is not just user-friendly, but is also a powerful tool that customizes your website. The control panel allows allows management of a host of features, such as checking site statistics and uploading images and files.

4.      It provides high efficiency – For a website to function efficiently, you need an ample amount of bandwidth and sufficient disc space, and shared hosting allows you both. Packages are available that offer unlimited bandwidth and disc space.

5.      It is secure – Contrary to the perception that shared hosting is not secure, a reputable company will uphold best practices to provide clients with safe, seamless service.

6.      You get technical support at all times – When you opt for a shared hosting option, you don’t have to worry about assistance, be it technical or otherwise. Shared hosting service providers give you all the technical support you need for the smooth functioning of your website. Even if you are not a technical person, the site upkeep, maintenance and technical equipment are all responsibilities of the hosting provider.

7.      You get additional features, such as email and an FTP account – When you opt for a shared hosting option, you get email and an FTP account in the same package, increasing functionality and convenience.

If you find that shared hosting is the right option for your business, Virtual Stacks Systems offers web hosting packages so you can select the plan that best suits your needs. Virtual Stacks Systems has powerful data centers around the world that make our web hosting plans more effective, yet are designed to save money. We also offer 24/7 technical support to all customers. Contact us today to learn more.

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Working Remotely? Try THE BEST APPS for Remote Work & Freelancing!


Top 10 (Plus One) Apps for Remote Work

Congratulations! Your business is growing and you’re adding employees! However, not all of your new hires need to report to the office – and some kind of jobs, such as regional sales – pretty much require field work. Telecommuting is becoming more desirable for employers as well as employees for such reasons as greatly reduced overhead.

According to The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Report, companies see an average of $11,000 annual savings per telecommuting employee. The report was produced by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, focusing on full-time employees who work from home at least half of the time.

As one of the major findings from the report is that the number of people telecommuting in the United States increased a whopping 115 percent in the last 10 years, you may be taking a serious look at which of the vast array of apps for remote work are best suited for your business and the way you want your team members to collaborate.

Whether your remote team consists of full-time, part-time or freelancers – or any mix thereof – Virtual Stacks Systems has rounded up the apps for remote work that consistently top the experts’ lists, so you don’t have to! Thanks to HubSpot, Inc., Skillcrush and eServe.

We also reached out to owners of home-based businesses, who provided their valuable input.

The Best Apps for Remote Work & Freelancing!

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools1 -  Asana Project management app that allows you to create and delegate tasks; organize tasks into shared projects, chat with team members within each task; and add attachments from Box, Dropbox and Google Drive. It also includes calendar features, project dashboards and to-do lists.

 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 2 - Box Enterprise-friendly tool provides secure file sharing, storage and collaboration, while offering solutions for a wide variety of business needs.

 
 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 3 - Dropbox Ideal for exchanging files that are too large to send via email; collaborative work and backups; allows easy access and sharing of folders. Especially useful for organizing freelancer work.

 
 

 4 - Evernote Popular notebook and productivity program that functions as a paperless office; integrates very well with many other productivity apps.

 
 
“I recently started using Evernote for saving various formats of work in one place,” says Jinal Shah, founder of If I Were Marketing, a branding and marketing strategy consultancy. Along with Dropbox, she finds it useful for organizing her business and its diverse client base. “They are among my favorite go-to tools for my work.” 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 5- GoToMeeting Easy, intuitive connectivity for video conferencing.

 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 6 - GitHub Powerful tool for web developers to build software with remote teams. Features include code review and management for open source and private projects. GitHub Wiki allows you to share your work with the rest of the GitHub community. Employers can also use it as a company resource for employee onboarding that organizes information for new hires.

 
 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 7 - iDoneThis Team progress tracking software that provides easy daily check-ins and powerful progress reports to run more effective and productive teams. Compiles individual responses into a digest and distributes it to all team members.

 
 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 8 - Signal – Open-source, free encryption software that allows you to communicate instantly while avoiding SMS and MMS fees; create groups so that you can chat in real time with all team members at once; and share media or attachments – all with complete privacy. The server never has access to any of your communication and never stores any of your data.

 
 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 9 - Slack Allows real-time, on-on-one communication with everyone on your team. Chats can be organized by subject, and integrates activity from GitHub, Trello and other applications. Allows communication to be defined by client or team, so that only those in a specific group will be included in conversations.

 
 
“Think of Slack like the professional version of WhatsApp,” says by Monica Mizzi, Content Director at Compose.ly, a freelance content platform that helps businesses tell their brand story. “Slack makes communication easy by pooling essential tasks like messaging, video chat and file sharing in one. You can even integrate your Trello board to it, so you get updates directly to Slack.”

Another fan of Slack is John Jonas, owner of Onlinejobs.ph, a website that helps business owners who want to outsource to Philipino virtual assistants.

 

“The thing we like about Slack is how organized it is,” Jonas says. “Different departments are placed in different rooms. Topics are easy to search, and attaching documents is a breeze.”

 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 10 - Trello Elegant in its simplicity, this project management tool is based on a system of cards and project boards for making notes on what needs to be done and who should be assigned to the task. Has been described as a team post-it-note board on steroids.

 

“My favorite tool for staying organized is Trello,” says Mizzi. “It is a practical visual organizer that allows you to segment all of your different projects into different cards and boards. It is truly a lifesaver for any freelancer who wants to stay on top of all of their tasks!”

 

Best Tools for Remote Working, Freelancing Tools, Tools for Remote Work, Collaboration Software, Business Team Collaboration Tools 11 - Wunderlist A tracking and scheduling program for personal to-do lists and client work. Allows task management from a smartphone, tablet, computer or smartwatch.

Conclusion

One parting thought: According to The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Report, telecommuting exceeds public transportation as the commute option of choice in more than half of the top U.S. metro areas – growing far faster than any other commute mode. Finding the tools that deliver the best results for your remote workforce is now more essential than ever to achieving success!

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Is Freelancing Right For You? The State of Remote Working in 2018


Remote Work in 2018

In 2018, cloud computing continues to grow and businesses across the world are shifting their operations to the cloud. This shift offers several advantages, including cost efficiency, flexibility, and increased productivity and the tools to make all of this a reality. For business owners a primary concern was the overhead and technical infrastructure it takes to set up an office but this is now no longer the case. According to a recent study from Staples, this year, only 32% of employees spent all their time working in or at their office, and 43% of employees say remote work is a must-have.

Richard Heby of Liquid Space provides an interesting tidbit:

"94%  of American workers want to work remotely, at least at the same rate they are now, or more. Another relevant fact – people love remote work because it provides a better work-life balance. In fact, work-life balance is the second most commonly cited positive reason for telecommuting."

Digital nomads use telecommunication technologies to earn a living thus giving them the opportunity to life their life in a nomadic manner. These remote workers often work from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, or co-working spaces and utilize cloud computing to complete their work. Facilitated by the advent of applications like Slack, Asana, and Trello teams can be connected across the world and no longer have the need to work in a share office space.

According to a study by Deloitte, millennials will constitute 50 percent of the workforce by 2020 and there has been a shift where values mean more than the bottom line. "Those likely to remain longest share their organization’s values, and are more satisfied with its

sense of purpose and support of professional development."

In another report by American Express, 1,363 Millennials were surveyed, those born between 1980 and 1996—in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. As for the 343 U.S. Millennials who were surveyed, they want to make a positive difference in the world (68%) and said a successful business needs to have a genuine purpose (81%) and the values of their employer should match their own (78%). More than one-third define success as doing work that has a positive impact on society.

Millennials are seeking work with meaning beyond just making money and working remotely as a digital nomad is a way to accomplish these lifestyle and work goals.

How to Find Remote Work

There are many avenues to find remote work however, one in particular stands out, called Remote Year.

Millennial entrepreneurs Greg Caplan and Sam Pessin founded Remote Year and the first program occured in 2015. Remote Year helps facilitate a  community of people who want to live and work remotely as a part of a vibrant community.

“Giving your workforce the opportunity to work remotely can result in productivity that exceeds what your employees may have achieved by spending the same number of hours in an office”, says Greg Caplan.

Is Remote Working Right for Your Business

However, working remotely isn’t for everyone. And companies hiring should keep an eye out for certain workforce management traits that can ensure that an employee is best suited for the telecommuting lifestyle. These include things like prior telecommuting experience and autonomy are just a few of the skills. The right kinds of top talent can flourish when they're permitted to work with fewer restrictions.

While there are many advantages, working remotely isn’t without its disadvantages. Many of them stem from the fact that if you are telecommuting then you aren't getting to know your coworkers as well as you would if you were in an office. Some people also lack the discipline it takes to work remotely.

However the only way to see if it is right for you is to try it and give it enough time to see if it works for you.  

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Why Cloud Computing Is A Must For Your Organization

Why Is Cloud Computing Is A Must For Your Organization?

As per the Goldman Sachs report, cloud computing spending is projected to grow at a staggering CAGR of 30%, through 2018. It has been on the same growth trajectory since 2013, astounding isn’t it? 

Cloud is one of the newest buzzwords in the digital world. It is neither a trend nor an illusion, it is a reality and a necessity which is here to stay. Businesses across the world of all sizes are shifting their operations to the cloud, as it offers several advantages including cost efficiency, flexibility, and increased productivity.

Moving your operations to the cloud not only streamlines your workflow, it strengthens the backbone of your company. It increases the liquid funds in your hand, which you can utilize to further your core business interests.

According to Gartner, by 2020 a corporate no-cloud strategy would become as rare as a no-internet policy is in today’s time.

You are already on the cloud...

You are using the cloud in your day to day lives already, in one form or the other. By sending and receiving emails, banking online, and/or listening to music, you are taking part in the cloud revolution that has dominated the landscape of information technology in the last one decade.

Major benefits of moving to the cloud….

Creating an IT infrastructure for your organization requires many investments. From expensive servers, machines, network storage, to backup systems and disaster recovery systems, maintaining a business requires significant capital. You also need space to hold these costly and heavy pieces of machinery, and of course, you require a team of IT professionals to carry out your daily operations. Add all of this together and you are facing a substantial investment up front.

Using cloud services can help your investments pay off, allows you to shrink or cut the use of costly traditional recovery operations, and result in significant growth for your business. According to a report, organizations that have embraced cloud services have shown an overall growth of 19.63% (Vanson Bourne).

Security is not an issue with the cloud….

Security concerns, which were previously thought to be an issue with cloud computing for corporations, are no longer a sticking point, as several checks are in place to safeguard your customer data and company information.

Don’t be surprised to note that 86% of organizations spend some amount of their information technology budget on the cloud.

Other than the benefits mentioned above, what else does it offer that makes it essential for you to shift your operations to the cloud?

Reasons you should shift your business to the cloud

There was a time when cloud services were patronised by big businesses, and small and medium companies thought that there was nothing much in store for them. But, things have dramatically changed since then and even small organizations are now benefitting from the cloud computing services in equal measure.

Here are some of the main reasons why your business needs cloud services:

You get time to focus on your business – You save a lot of time because you don’t have to manage an IT infrastructure or a big software and hardware team. Managing people and day to day IT operations is a long drawn process, which takes away your precious time. You can utilize this time in taking your business to greener pastures and that too at a faster pace. Cloud computing gives you complete freedom to keep your focus on the business at hand. You are able to channelize your energy in the direction required to take your business to a higher level.

Huge cost savings – When you move your business to the cloud, your IT infrastructure saving is substantial. With cloud computing you don’t need to invest in heavy duty IT machinery. You also save on a lot of money as you don’t need to hire and manage a big IT team. Furthermore, you don’t need to waste your space to fit those huge servers. The best part is you only have to pay for what you use, cloud services are on rent, and you don’t have to buy them upfront.

You can increase or decrease the number of head counts according to the need of your business operations, all you have to pay extra is the per user cost.

It is scalable – Cloud computing is a scalable and hassle free option where you don’t have to bother about licensing or upgrades every now and then. When you have an in house set of servers and machineries, and if you have to scale up your operations due the requirements of your business, you need to do a lot of work. Whereas, when you are in the cloud these hassles are well taken care of by the vendor you hire. From hardware, software to maintenance and support, you don’t have to bother about any of those. You get the best services at all times without any of your time being wasted.

Enhanced mobility  – Once you move all your apps to the cloud, you can access any of your applications from wherever you want and at any time. All you require is an internet connection and a browser and you can connect with your work at your convenience. Your team members who have the access can do their work from wherever they want, either from the cool confines of their homes or even from their client’s office. Nobody can give you any excuse for work not being completed on time.

Improved collaboration among your team members  – Working on applications that are up in the cloud increases the efficiency of your team members. It is a platform where team members can collaborate with each other, which is bound to increase their productivity, regardless of their physical location. When your team members work together, it increases their potential and the quality of work improves significantly.

It further improves your security – Managing heavy-duty servers and machines doesn’t guarantee that your data is hundred percent secure. Imagine your laptop or mobile being stolen, of course, it is not just the monetary value of either device that you are worried about, you get sleepless nights because those devices had all your company information. And, if it falls into the wrong hands you have to pay a heavy price. Whereas, when your applications are up in the cloud, you needn’t worry about these things, as nothing is stored on your device. Even if you lose any of your devices, your company information remains safe, because it is not on your laptop or mobile, but it is up in the cloud. Moreover, with enterprise security in place, the cloud offers more security than your on-premise datacenters. Service providers who are not able to provide adequate security to their clients eventually phase out of the cloud computing business, and that too pretty fast.

It is more reliable – Your customer data and company information can’t be compromised, no matter what the cost. But, you cannot rely only on your servers and systems, after all, they are machines and can crash over time. Therefore, offices not yet on the cloud need costly redundant systems to constantly back up all data. But, once you move your operations to the cloud, you don’t have to worry about these costly systems, because the service provider arranges for the backup of all your information and data. They have completely adaptive disaster recovery systems, powerful servers, and machines, and they constantly back up your data so that you don’t lose any single information. This also ensures that your business is up and running all the time, and there is no major downtime for you to worry about.

Upgrades and maintenance are not your headache – Upgrading and maintaining your on-premise data center is a tedious job, which can take away a lot of your time, money, effort and energy. No matter how top class your machine is, it would require upgrades and maintenance on a periodic basis. Whereas, when you move your business to the cloud, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or upgrades, it is the responsibility of the service provider to maintain and upgrade their offerings. Moreover, as maintenance and upgrades are done by the service provider keep in mind that your business doesn’t get affected.

It is more environment-friendly– When you share resources with others, you are helping to save the environment. If you can contribute to the reduction of datacenters the world over it would definitely have a positive effect on the environment, more so when the efficiency of the operations is not at stake. Cloud services offer you all of these and more.

If you have not as yet moved your business to the cloud, just get in touch with Virtual Stacks Systems, as a company we have been in the cloud business for a long time and have a pretty lengthy list of satisfied customers. We can take care of all your IT needs with perfection.

Virtual Stacks Systems has powerful data centers and completely adaptive disaster recovery systems, which ensures that your company data remains safe with us, always.

With over two decades of exposure and experience in the software and hardware industry, Virtual Stacks Systems is capable of looking after all your cloud requirements.

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Where is the Cloud?

Answering the question you were afraid to ask.

The cloud, to those outside of the data realm, is as intangible as its namesake. An airy, out-of-reach presence that seems to linger above (Around? Beneath?) Us and, somehow, holds all of our data. Where is the cloud, anyway? Yet, as many people struggle to answer this question, they somehow know that they use the cloud every day. From that Google doc to the movie they streamed on the plane, to the dump of photos they cleared off of their iPhone. The “cloud” may be the buzzword to end all buzzwords, seeing as so many people use it, but so very few can describe what it is. Here is some background on the cloud:

The History of Cloud Computing

where is the cloudThe phrase has been in increasing use over the last 10 or so years. But cloud computing or at least its basic infrastructure has been around for over half a century! In the 1950’s, back when computers were much larger (Like, size of a room larger), one would log onto a “dummy terminal”, basically an interface with very limited controls, to use the larger, more capable computer. Without the mainframe, the terminals were pretty much useless. This was the very early conceptual version of cloud computing. In the 1990’s it was becoming increasingly clear that the internet would become the essential information-sharing powerhouse that it is today. Engineers started to draw a “cloud” to represent this network of information sharing. It was not long before engineers at Compac coined the term “cloud computing”. A little less than a decade later, we were using the internet to store and download files, but from where exactly? The cloud.

The cloud: defined.

The cloud, while whimsical and mysterious sounding in nature, is actually not all that complicated. Simply, all the data transmitted and shared around the internet needs to go SOMEWHERE. That somewhere is a global infrastructure of connected servers and data center that hold on to, receive, and send back data at absurd speeds. Once high-speed internet became commonplace, it no longer made sense to store all data on your device. That is a lot of information and would require very large amounts of storage. Why do that when you can just save it “online” or, rather, in the innumerable data centers. Now, you do not need a multi-terabyte hard drive to have access to years upon years’ worth of data. It can all go to the cloud (at a cost, for THAT much information) Hardware does not mean as much, provided you are on a reliable network. But here’s where things can get a little tricky, depending on your service provider. When you send your data to the cloud, it lives on your provider’s server. Depending on the contract and/or terms-of-service of that provider, they may technically now own that information.

Critiques and Critics of Cloud Technology

Some of the biggest concerns in regards to the cloud are:
  • Where is the information stored?
  • How many copies of that information exists?
  • Can the company be trusted to remove copies of deleted content?
Furthermore, many service agreements fail to clearly define the ownership of content, leaving a big hole if legal issues were to arise. where is the cloud So where is the cloud? The majority of cloud servers call the United States and Ireland home. But cloud servers are global. This means that the data stored on the servers is subject to the information laws of that specific country. In places that have more stringent laws toward data protection and privacy, this may not be a big deal. In other places were laws are loose or ill-defined, you may run into challenges when it comes to ownership and privacy. At the end of the day, more often than not, cloud service providers are responsible for protecting your data. Why else would you be paying them? Yet, some terms of service do specify that if government organizations request your information, they will pass it on to them. Often, without a warrant. It is worth taking a look at the fine print before choosing a cloud storage provider. Another area of concern for cloud-based technologies is in the workplace. When important documents are password protected in a cloud server, and employees have access to them, there is a certain modicum of trust that must be in place. Often times that sensitive information is available anywhere, just as long as the employee has the password. If an employee were to develop malicious intentions, it can be catastrophic for an Orlando SEO company. That said, it is a lot easier to change passwords and monitor network activity than it is to locate a stolen hard drive, or worse a piece of paper with passwords scribbled down on it.  

The Benefits of the Cloud

Imagine if you had to personally store every photo you’ve ever taken. Every message you’ve ever sent. Every song you’ve enjoyed? That would require a lot of storage. Terabytes of data, rather quickly. So imagine you had all of that information on your personal computer. Your house gets broken into and the burglar steals your computer Now, all that information is gone for good. Now picture that metaphor on a grander scale. An increasing amount of the world’s digital information lives on secure servers, often thousands of miles away. While hacking and privacy are concerns, they occur less often than human error (spilling coffee on your external hard drive is more likely than you may think.) where is the cloud Cloud programs have saved businesses and individuals a lot of money. When a student cannot afford Microsoft Office (which itself has an online version) they can use free Google Docs. Adobe now has the Creative Suite, which is subscription-based, rather than the old tangible versions of its products like Photoshop and Illustrator. Companies save tremendous amounts by not having to worry about server storage or application requirements. Entire businesses now operate remotely, thanks to the cloud. Good-bye, rent! Goodbye, utilities! And Goodbye, administrative costs! The cloud is also pretty reliable when it comes to keeping your services up and running. As servers are spread out globally, up-time is pretty much guaranteed. When servers are on-hand, a lot can go wrong. Power outages, user error, or faulty parts can crash your servers, and potentially shut down your business for hours, to days at a time. The cloud takes this responsibility out of your company’s hands, and into that of a reliable provider. Virtual Stacks is proud to offer cloud hosting and cloud storage to our clients through our data center. Our cloud server will provide the bandwidth you need while protecting your information from online threats, keeping your business secure. Virtual Stacks also offers integrated marketing strategies including web design, SEO, PPC, and video marketing. When it comes to digital solutions, our internet marketing company can support your business all the way. With us, you will never find yourself wondering “Where is the cloud?” ever again.

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