NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We hear a lot about computing and data storage on the so-called “cloud.”

So what is the cloud, and is your information safe there?

If you’re emailing, sharing photos or using social media, you might not realize it, but you’re probably already living much of your electronic life in the cloud.

It’s really located in large banks of computer servers in giant warehouses that can perform functions and store data on a very large scale. So you don’t have to run or store them on your computer.

You access these servers online through applications like Gmail, Facebook, Instagram and even TurboTax.

The cloud provides access to photos, documents and services anytime and anywhere.

Yet, there are concerns that if a hacker can break into a cloud, everything that’s stored there is at risk. In fact, nearly six in 10 people said they’re concerned about the security of the cloud, in a survey by AYTM Market Research.

But security experts say broad concerns about cloud safety are outdated.

Still, it pays to be a smart consumer of cloud services.

In order to keep your data safe in the cloud, choose a well-known provider and make sure they are using encryption technology. Use strong, complex passwords on your accounts. Back up your most important data on a physical device, in addition to a cloud service.

If certain data or documents are truly sensitive, think twice about storing them online at all. If it’s not online, it can’t get hacked.

Find more from “Eye on Cyber” by clicking here.


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