Using a smartphone for online data storage and analysis can help protect sensitive information.
Data from the mobile phone can be transferred between the device and cloud computing services and then back to the user, said Mark Coyle, chief executive of Digital Media Group, a data security and analytics firm.
“You can have all of your data, including the content, and then be able to access that information at the touch of a button,” he said.
“And that means you can take it to a cloud provider that you trust, and be able access it and do some other kind of analysis on that data.”
In some cases, the data can be stored on the device, but not all.
“The device itself is still the data source,” Mr Coyle said.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be the data you’re looking at.
The phone could be the server, the server could be a storage device.”
There are some exceptions to this, however.
For example, in cases where the data is stored on a server and then moved to a data storage device, it is protected by encryption.
“If a person has the ability to access the encrypted data that is stored by the server,” Mr Phelan said, “they can’t read it.”
The benefits of encryptionThe encryption on mobile phones can make data storage more secure, but it can also create issues for users.
“People who are going to have their information stored on encrypted devices are more likely to be a target for identity theft,” Mr Smith said.
This is especially true in remote locations.
“For people that are in a city or in rural areas where they have access to a mobile phone, they’re more likely than people in the big cities or the country,” Mr Anderson said.
In some areas, encryption is more widespread than in others.
For instance, mobile phone data is encrypted on some models of the iPhone, while others are not.
However, in many other cases, encryption does not protect data on the mobile device.
For one, the iPhone only encrypts the data that it has received and can read, which means it is not vulnerable to hacking.
“There’s no way of knowing what you’re talking about if you’ve been sitting in a hotel room and all your data is sitting on a phone and you’re not going to be able see it,” Mr Watson said.
While the iPhone encrypts data on a per-user basis, it encrypts information on the entire device, which is also why some users say they have been unable to find out what their data is.
“It’s not just on the phone,” Mr Hoch said.
There are also limitations to how data is accessed on the iPhone.
“Some people may not even have an iPhone,” Mr Jansen said.
For those who do have an Apple device, some of the most popular apps are not available on it.
“So you have to pay for an app, and there’s also the whole cloud thing and it’s just not possible to use it for online research,” Mr McBride said.
It’s a different story for cloud storage.
“One of the things that we see a lot is the cloud is a great way of keeping data, but they’re also good at storing the data,” Mr McDougall said.”[For instance] you can access your personal data in the cloud, you can store your work, your photos and videos and anything else on a cloud, but you don’t necessarily want to have all that on the server.”
“You want to keep that data on-site,” Mr Sibbick said.
The use of cloud computingAs well as protecting data from hackers, cloud computing can also help prevent data breaches.
“Cloud computing is the one of the areas where the biggest impact is not actually data security, it’s actually the cloud,” Mr Goss said.
However there are other potential security benefits as well.
“What it really does is provide a layer of protection against a breach,” Mr Kostelec said.
As well, cloud storage allows you to store information more securely.
“That means that your files will not be accessible to anyone other than you, because the data will have been encrypted and that information will not have been sent out,” Mr Trewavas said.
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