The cloud, which at the end is just a fancy marketing term for massive server infrastructures, has become very popular even if many people may not even realize that they use it.
Every big tech company today offers cloud services to private users and companies.
But still many user aren't sure if they should use these services, because they are very concerned about security. So let's take a look at the security a cloud service provides from an average users perspective:
The cloud is probably better protected from outside attacks than your computer is but it can be hacked, too. Cloud service providers will try everything to lock attackers out, but attackers will still try everything to get in. There are small differences between the different providers, but at the end it's just a wildcard.
Another group who could want to access your files are the people at your cloud provider. If you upload your data to the cloud of any company you should assume that everybody who works there has access to it. The companies will tell you about their safety measures and say that there isn't any way for their employees to access your data, but there is just no way to prove it's true - so you better assume it's possible.
The last group of people who may want to access your data in the cloud are governments.
At least the US government will get full access to your data in the cloud if they want it. But the ugly truth is that they also will get full access to your data if it's just stored on your home computer and they want it. If your data is stored somewhere electronically they can access it.
Another kind of security
At this point you probably wonder why you should store any of your data in the cloud if it is such a security risk. But maybe worse than everybody having access to your files is nobody having access to your files (anymore) - including yourself. Files aren't just boring things like letters and tax forms, they also are things like images of yourself and your family. They can represent parts of your life. You don't want that data to be lost forever.
There are many ways to backup you files, but the cloud is the best way.
Your backup in the cloud is almost always up-to-date. You can forget to backup your files to a hard drive and when your original data is lost your "current" backup is many weeks old and important files are missing. The cloud can sync all of your data all the time.
The other advantage is that your files are stored at a remote place. Even when you have a current local backup it doesn't saves your data when your house burns down. You just loose it twice.
So for this kind of security the cloud is by far the best choice.
So what should you do? At the end it's easy to decide if you should upload your data to the cloud. You just need to ask yourself this question every time:
What is the worse case for that particular data - if it's lost or if it's public?
If you would be more devastated if it's lost than if it's available to the whole world you upload it to the cloud.
If you think it's better lost forever than to be publicly available you don't upload it to the cloud.
Maybe it is that easy.