By Joe Evancho

SOMEWHERE SATUDAY NIGHT — There’s an old saying about celebrations . . . and their aftermath, that goes Saturday night wrote a check that Sunday morning couldn’t cash.

    The same goes for those silly, or daring pictures you took at the height of your revelry. Today, and probably into the future, the way laptops and smartphones save data is not really what it seems. That’s because, by default, photos and documents are not only saved on your device, but they also are living in “the cloud.”

     According to an article in CNN Money, from September 2014 “That means images and documents are quietly copied onto a distant computer servers. Your embarrassing selfie lives on half a dozen machines in North America and Europe. This is why you can easily access the same photos on your phone, personal laptop and work computer. But it also means the data isn't in your control anymore.

     Your iPhone takes all your stuff and automatically places it on Apple servers. Your Android keeps your photos at a Google data center. Microsoft does it for Windows Phone and laptops.

     What’s more, other companies move in and manage all of that data. So your private documents actually end up in computer servers at companies you never had contact with from all over the world.

     So unless you’re careful, your files no longer begin and end with the device in your pocket, purse or office. If you delete a file from your phone, it lives on in the cloud. And even if you log into that cloud service and delete it there too, the disturbing truth is that the company probably already copied your files to another server you can't access. In that case it would be hard to hackers to get them too but they're still out there.

     IT Systems Integration Analyst Kevin Rank works for Idaho Public Television in Boise, Idaho. He said that this scenario may sound a little scarier than what it really is. 

     “I think going forward you'll see more devices encrypt your information, so not just anyone can view them,” Kevin said. “The FBI director came out recently saying that the new devices by Apple and Google make the NSA’s work harder, because they do just that.

     “The phones are able to be encrypted, and unless there is a back door, there is no way to break the encryption short of brute force and that can take an extremely long time, in the realm of decades and more.”

Posted 8:00 PM

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