Online Storage for Your Important Documents with SafelyFiled

Friday, March 29th, 2013

It’s hard to ignore the fact the world’s documents are fast-turning digital. Computers and networks have revolutionized the way we create, edit, and distribute our spreadsheets, word-processed letters and invoices, presentations, and graphic designs.

This has completely changed the office landscape, meaning drawers and cupboards have become awfully sparse in way of physical copies. To secure the data our machines are burdened with collecting and storing on a day-to-day basis, many companies look to modern technologies such as online storage.

Many of these vendors provide all-round file storage, catering for every kind of file type, including music, video and audio. However, there are also those who cater purely to protect office documents, one being SafelyFiled, who specialize in handling sensitive and important information such as insurance claims and estate planning, and passing crucial documents onto family in emergency situations.

In a world where it’s becoming increasingly common for internet-based tech companies to be built by teenagers from their bedrooms, SafelyFiled’s founders have quite a few decades on these young entrepreneurs. At 60 years old, John Dore and Mark Snow hardly seem to be put off by this fact. They both have a wealth of experience due to their years.

Previous, Dore was a CEO of two insurance holding companies, and Snow was the founding executive of five start-ups. The pair’s impressive portfolio has clearly helped mould their most recent project, which was built with sensitive insurance papers and documents as the main focus.

The online storage service, which is Web-based and features a smartphone compatible scanning app, is designed with all users in mind, even if you’re technology-timid. Once users have created a SafelyFiled account, they can start uploading data or delegate the task to an accountant, insurance agent, or tax preparer.

In terms of appearance and security, there are a few concerns. SafelyFiled doesn’t offer the most attractive online storage interface out there—but since it’s designed for the financial side of digital life, perhaps this is forgivable. And since the company is an angel-backed start-up, some users may begin to wonder just how long this provider is going to be around—this company is also asking for your most important files.

SafelyFiled may certainly appeal to its intended market, which you could still call a niche area, but there is no denying they have certainly limited themselves given most users would rather have a provider who caters to every kind of file type such as JustCloud.

One question the company has provided an answer to is ‘what happens to my files when I keel over?’. But whether this is an important enough issue at the moment for users, only time will tell.

Dropbox Online Storage Could File an IPO in 2013

Friday, March 15th, 2013

There is currently a very interesting rumor circulating around the online storage world about the Silicon Valley big player, Dropbox.

According to a report from Quartz, the provider is planning to go public later this year. The report states the online storage giant is already in talks with banks in preparation for an IPO to acquire market perceptions, and also that the company is likely to be valued at approximately $4 billion.

Dropbox, which is considered to be one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups, has managed to raise some significant funds since entering the online storage arena five years ago. The company demands a total venture capital funding of $250,000,000 from several investors such as Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, and Accel Partners.

The start-up made its name by offering a solution to users’ online storage needs and has managed to gather more than 100 million users from that Market.

The company recently revealed its enterprise solutions for corporate users through its expansion into the IT administrative area.

Dropbox’s new software gives IT administrators some impressive control with the ability to monitor which users have viewed a file and also when it took place. Furthermore, it gives the administrator power to grant or withhold file permissions.

If these rumors turn out to be true and Dropbox goes public, it will be following in the footsteps of a number of other technology companies that have done so in recent years.

Lately, technology IPOs such as those of Groupon, LinkedIn, Zynga and Facebook, have been experiencing rather turbulent times. The online storage provider’s move could mean they have learnt from past IPOs and are solidifying business before going public. It will now have to see if shareholders will reward the company for its wisdom.

IBM Eyes Online Storage & Big Data

Friday, February 8th, 2013

IT giant IBM recently unveiled their new file storage systems and software for all companies out there finding managing big data storage and access a struggle.

It was announced from Big Blue that an updated IBM XIV Storage System with network expansion connectivity options and an ample dose of flash storage has been developed. IT professionals can purchase the new XIV with up to twelve 10 gigabyte ethernet ports, or alternatively, twenty two of the 1 gigabyte variety.

XIV Storage Systems are also ready to accelerate the speed of big databases. The collection now supports up to 6 terabytes of Flash-orientated cache. IBM says new capabilities offer a 5x SSD-assisted boost on database workloads over that of generations previous.

XIV’s feet also have some green on them due to its implementation of more efficient data storage centers. New power supplies mean that power consumption has been lowered up to sixteen percent on fully loaded systems.

IBM’s strategy for solving big data issues goes a lot further than simply building bigger and more capable online storage systems. They also want to make it possible for companies to be able to store less.

Version 4.1 of its STN7800 Real Time Compression Appliance has now been unveiled. Developed to integrate with complex IT environments, the System X server-orientated hardware boasts an array of options in way of network connectivity. 10GbE optical, 1GbE copper or mixed 10GbE, and 1GbE environments are supported.

IBM is now releasing new Smart Storage Access software, which is intended to stem the unauthorized use of third party, consumer-grade online storage services as corporate data repositories. On offer is a web self-service portal which requires no IT intervention.

Rod Adkins, Senior Vice President of IBM’s Systems & Technology Group, stated: ‘Big data and online storage which was once only affordable to corporations and enterprises is now available to the masses. With these new systems, IBM is forging an aggressive expansion of its Power and Storage Systems business into SMB and growth markets.’

More information can be found on IBM’s website.

SkyDrive’s Online Storage Site Killing Opera Browsers…

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

It seems that Microsoft’s developers may have suffered a lapse in concentration when they ran through the testing stage of the company’s online storage website, SkyDrive. It’s source code is currently making the service close to inoperable for Opera internet browser users, with the now confirmed reason being because of the 2 million NULL characters included, resulting in hanging due to 100% CPU utilization.

The embarrassing issue was explained within Opera Core Quality Assurance Software Tester Hallyord R.M. Steen’s blog post. A ‘strange bug in the Microsoft backend sends a mass of unexpected NULL characters,’ he stated, which causes conflict as the browser attempts to interpret them.

Besides the general assumption that an overlook by Microsoft is to blame for the problem, Opera isn’t exactly squeaky clean itself. This is because it’s the only browser which suffers the affects imposed by the sourcing code, therefore hanging as a result of locking issues—something which browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox don’t have when connected to the online storage site.

Although Steen has stated that the Opera team will need to resolve its browser issues, he feels the setback has taught them a valuable lesson. ‘(The SkyDrive code is a) great example of how testing in multiple browsers can make you unearth mistakes you never expected to make.’

Hopefully both SkyDrive online storage and Opera can fix any underlying problems soon.

A Brief Introduction to Online Storage Security

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

So maybe you’re not the biggest tech enthusiast out there, but all the same you’ve found yourself contemplating online storage as a means of storing and security your data should the worst happen. That’s a good thing, since online storage can handle unbelievable amounts of data and offer great accessibility options from a range of mobile devices.

There’s only one problem you’ve encountered—you’re concerned about not only whether online storage is secure, but that you’re completely baffled by the jargon of its security measures.

Of course, this would be an unnecessary reason to shy away from adopting this incredibly popular data storage system, though, wouldn’t it? And so without further ado, here’s a brief look into the security side.

A data center may be known as the cloud, servers, or a number of other names. But put simply, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: a center where your data is stored. Within the data center are countless servers which accommodate an online storage provider’s customers’ data. Servers are built with specific design requirements which make the reliability standards of PC hard drives look very bleak indeed.

The main advantage of storing files through online storage is that servers are ultra-reliable, offering 99.9% durability and availability. Data center monitors also regularly perform checks to ensure system health standards are always kept. Data mirroring, which means data is stored over more than one server, creates many benefits for customers since no downtime will become apparent when technical repairs or improvements are in place.

Before a customer’s data begins to upload, it is encrypted, meaning that it becomes scrambled to the stage where only a specific key can unscramble it. This restricts unwanted attention from finding files, and is the securest method of protection, operating when data is both in transit and storage. Some online storage providers offer ‘Bank’ or ‘Military’ grade encryption, which quite literally means you can experience the same level of security these industries do.

And that just about covers some of the general security measures that many market leading online storage providers offer their customers. Of course, the best way to find out more about a provider’s security levels is to check out their website or contact them for more information.

PS3 Firmware v4.25 Soon to Increase Online Storage to 1GB for Gamers

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Sony Computer Entertainment revealed, during their Gamescom Press Conference on August 14th, that subscribers of Playstation Plus would soon receive a generous upgrade to their game saves online storage capacity. And generous it will be, increasing from the current 150MB all the way up to 1GB—a nice little freebie to keep the console giant’s loyal gamers smiling.

At the time of the announcement, it was unconfirmed when the online storage upgrade would take place. On 11th September, however, Eric Lempel of Sony Computer Entertainment America stated that subscribers would receive the additional 850MB with PS3 Firmware v4.25 once it was released for download at some point during this week.

Eric Lempel wrote on the Playstation Blog: ‘Once you’ve installed the update, simply go to the Saved Data Utility under the Game column of the XMB. From here you can access the Online Storage folder and find any existing game saves already uploaded, as well as the increase in space to 1 gigabyte. Set your automatic download to upload every game save for every compatible game you play and enjoy the surplus breathing space. You can also continue to use this feature to selectively upload game saves you specify.’

Online Storage; SkyDrive Small Print Update Sneaks in Extra Waivers and Permissions

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

When most people download and install a program, they tend to bypass all of the pages and pages of legal jargon, letting it go over their heads. And who can blame them—it’s a lot to read, and in the end, most of us either give up, scan through it, or don’t bother reading it at all.

But when it comes to Microsoft’s newly updated Services Agreement, the opposite should be applied entirely. Because the agreement—which applies to all of its services such as SkyDrive, Bing, and Hotmail, and other services which implement online storage—has caused a bit of a stir.

It all started with Microsoft’s notification email which was sent to all customers who use one or more of its many online storage integrated products. Most people who received the email probably didn’t think much of the notification, as expected, only understanding that its Services Agreement’s format had changed to a simpler Q & A style to make it more readable, and that the acceptance of the new agreement would be compulsory come 27th September, 2012.

There is no doubt that the agreement is presented in a clearer fashion—but the problem is with what has been ‘added’ into it.

Firstly, all of the content you provide Microsoft with for the purposes of what you initially intended to be for one service, will soon be eligible to be used across the board among all of its online storage integrated services—whether you like it or not. So what does this mean? Well, it could potentially mean that they could scan your uploaded docs and emails in order to impact your Bing search results. It all comes down to privacy and whether Microsoft should have the right to use its users’ content for more than it was originally intended for.

Secondly, you won’t be able to sue them. Plain and simple. No court. No judge. Not even a class action suit. It’s called an arbitration clause, meaning that if you ever have a dispute with them, reconcile will have to be found by venturing down a different avenue.

And there you have it. Those are the eyebrow raising facts. If you would like more information on the matter, you should visit the company’s website where you can inspect their new agreement for yourself.

1/3 of Storage Devices are Infected

Friday, August 24th, 2012

We all tend to be a lot more vigilant when it comes to our internet activity in terms of accessing ‘dodgy’ sites and content, don’t we? This is because we all know much more about the risks associated with surfing the sometimes uncertain seas of the internet. A lot can be found lurking beneath the surface, such as viruses and malware. Luckily though, most of us are equipped with anti-virus software these days to help eliminate online threats.

However, despite the advantages of having these programs installed on our computers and notebooks, there’s still a high risk of a virus outbreak—not through online access, but from portable storage devices. Sneaky, isn’t it?

This has been highlighted recently from a survey conducted by O+K Research earlier this year, revealing that thirty two percent of users contracted the unwanted viruses through means such as flash pens and external hard drives.

But if a user’s notebook, for example, wasn’t infected, then how could their portable devices have become infected? Answer: sharing devices. It’s one of those things we tend to forget about, but it’s true that we’ve all at some stage borrowed a friends or family member’s device to duplicate its information, such as photo albums.

Unfortunately, when computers are exposed to viruses, it could result in something we all dread: data loss. A highly effective way of getting around this is by installing an online storage app. Online storage won’t just store your files remotely in a highly secure data center, it will also mean that files can be shared with you through the cloud in future—meaning the use of risky flash drive exchanges is no longer needed.

If you’re curious about online storage, why not see what it’s all about for yourself? There are many packages and options available, with most vendors offering free trial versions.

Online Storage to Team Up with Sony’s PRS-T2 Reader

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Tech industry juggernaut Sony has revealed some very interesting news about its new and improved Reader, the PRS-T2, an update on last year’s device, the PRS-T1. We can all remember when e-readers first emerged onto the scene as an alternative to paper and hardback books. Due to their lightweight design, and capacity to store hundreds of books, it’s not surprising that their appeal has made it more than possible for the innovative product to grow.

Not only have e-readers become highly popular, outselling their printed counterparts for the first time this year, they’ve also become more technologically advanced, bringing the past time of reading well and truly into the twenty first century.

The main pull of Sony’s new Reader is its incorporation of online storage which will allow users to be able to back up their titles, favorite quotes and passages from texts. The device can also be used to download web-based articles which were originally backed up from other devices to online storage.

Online storage is just one of the improvements Sony has made, however. Their new batteries have a 60 day lifespan—when not connected to Wi-Fi—which will surely raise an eyebrow of even the most die-hard of paperback purists. The 2 gigabytes of initial onboard storage means there is a heck of a lot of room for storing weightless books—also making it not just an attractive product, but a highly practical one too.

If you now listen carefully, a jovial sigh can be heard from trees on an international scale…

Still Worried About Online Storage Security?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

When it comes to online storage these days, there’s not much to worry about in terms of security. With the highest levels of encryption, among many other safety features implemented into the state of the art system, peace of mind is clearly there to be taken.

But for some people, no matter how much they read or research into online storage, they still aren’t sure about whether they can trust the cloud. There’s nothing wrong with this; files are of paramount importance to users, and so it’s only natural to have an element of doubt which exists in some people.

If you fall into this category of people who want to use online storage but are deterred by security worries, then why not add some further security measures of your own?

Here are a few things you could do to enhance cloud backup safety:

-          Passwords and Security Questions – Make sure you use a completely different password to any you may have already used for other logins. Make it obscure and complex enough so that it can’t be guessed by hackers who research their targets. Tricks like using a mixture of upper and lower case letters with symbols and numbers are highly effective. When it comes to secret question answers, the same technique can be just as effective. Even better is to make the answer totally unrelated to the question.

-          Keep Your Cloud Tidy – Just because you may have unlimited online storage, doesn’t mean it has to turn into a dump for your data. Every now and then, have a look through your storage account and delete any confidential files that you don’t need any more, like emails and spreadsheets which have passwords or sensitive information, for example.

-          Be Sensible on the Web – This may be a given, but it’s worth remembering to have anti-virus protection installed on your computer at all times. Having an up to date, full version (preferably not free) will protect you from malware such as keystroke loggers. Avoid suspicious sites, and links and attachments in eyebrow raising emails.

Essentially, you don’t have to worry about online storage security, but, that said, ensuring you have the above in check definitely won’t do any harm.