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1 Slide 1 Safe in the Cloud This presentation was given to the U3A South East Region Committees Workshop October 25 th 2013 and follows up the article published in Third Age Matters Issue 7 Summer 2013 page 36. The introduction to the presentation pointed out that: The speaker has no particular interest in technology or computing but is motivated to do research and trialling when any new development may bring significant benefits. The use of cloud storage by U3A committees provides opportunities to improve their flow and backup of information at no extra cost. Cloud computing is already being used by U3As with communication and the use of many websites. The information likely to be stored was already in the cloud and so there would be no additional risks to data security. The term cloud is both confusing and ineffective in helping people understand what was involved. Slide 2 In the 1980s, computers were given information by floppy disks. A drive (for data) floppy disks B drive (for software)

2 Slide 3 3 ½ inch disk A drive Backup for transport and to avoid loss Internal hard drive: - the C drive The next move was the use of internal hard drives for data and software. The vast numbers of the smaller disks sold proved how important it had become to keep backup copies of files and of the desire to move them between devices. These two essentials have helped impel the development of cloud computing. Slide 4 CD and DVD drives offered a lot more capacity to install and store files but lacked the convenience of the small floppy disks. A CD/DVD drive Slide 5 USB sockets and memory sticks proved a great leap forward in moving files between devices. An early USB memory stick/pen drive/flash drive

3 Slide 6 With the development of external hard drives, the backup of all of a device s files was possible. They usually needed continuous effort to update them with the main device. An external hard drive Slide 7 A portable external hard drive with Seagate GoFlex/Backup Plus (syncs with your internal hard drive) Portable hard drives made carrying files about a great deal easier. The more important revolution was software that continually checks for changes to the files on a device and then automatically updates them on the external hard drive. The device user no longer needs to do backups manually. This ability to check and changed means that files are synced (synchronised) whenever the drive is connected and should the drive be removed for a time, the software will do any updates automatically when the drive is reconnected. Slide 8 A home wireless network The growth of broadband has gone hand in hand with the development of home wireless networks. Routers and laptops etc. now come wireless enabled as standard. Homes are now far more likely to have a variety of devices that can access the internet.

4 Slide 9 Home wireless network - to which you can add: games console, PVR (Humax), wireless printer, network hard drive, Blu-ray player, smart TV, tablet, smart phone. All kinds of devices can now be linked to the internet via the router but with varying degrees of success. Some still need an Ethernet cable. Many of the newer devices are linked to the television to use facilities such as the BBC iplayer. A network hard drive, with syncing software, can provide automatic backup for all home devices. Slide 10 The Cloud The great hard drive in the sky? means: Storage of your personal or your organisation s files privately on the internet Using applications on the internet rather than on your device The cloud may seem the next big leap forward, but it is just a predictable step in the evolution of the internet. Storage of personal files in the cloud is an additional facility, not a replacement for anything already in use. Smaller devices, such as tablets and smart phones, cannot hold large quantities of data, so it makes sense to store files externally (in the cloud) and download them only when required. When users of the internet are interacting with websites (e.g. for shopping and banking online) they are using software in the cloud. In a move towards the cloud storage of software, Microsoft now hopes that users of its Office software will buy its cloud version (Office 365) rather than purchase disks to install on devices. It is not difficult to envisage problems with this system.

5 Slide 11 The cloud can link all devices using the internet Your files are synced wherever the devices are and whether they are switched on or off Whenever online, individuals usually access their internet accounts (e.g. Amazon, Facebook) by username and password. With cloud storage accounts, a folder is also created by the user (usually on their screen) into which selected files can be copied. Any changes within this folder will remain there if their device is not connected to the internet. Whenever an internet connection is detected, changes will be made automatically to an identical folder in the cloud. With syncing software involved, the folders on other devices will be updated automatically as soon as the device has an internet connection. The technology developers seem to focus on the individual ignoring accounts for groups or small organisations. If the cloud can link all the devices owned by an individual, wherever they are, it can also link devices belonging to several people (e.g. A U3A committee) using the same internet account. Slide 12 Internet Web pages Enter information (blogs, shopping) Upload (YouTube, Flickr) Social Media (Facebook, Twitter) Your device View, copy, paste, Download (files and applications) Stream media (YouTube, Spotify, BBC i-player) Your ideas Your files Your responses The move into the cloud has been ongoing for years. Initially web pages were there to take from by viewing, downloading and, more recently, streaming material. Now there is much more of 2-way process with individuals interacting and adding material online.

6 Slide 13 Internet Your device Upload your site Web host s design ISP postman Webmail (stored by ISP) Design a web site Edit your site in the cloud Local (stored on your device) You receive and send via the cloud Websites were initially designed by experts and uploaded after completion. Now more websites start as a template in, and stay in, the cloud to be developed and edited by people and organisations from their devices. This is true of the several hundred U3A websites developed through the Third Age Trust. providers used to just be electronic postman, delivering messages from one device to another. With webmail accounts (Gmail, Yahoo etc.) the s are stored in the cloud to be accessed online anywhere. Slide 14 What can we use the Cloud for? Online backup of important files Online backup of your PC Share files between devices Share files with other people Collaborate with others Send large files Store and share photos Store and stream music Use web-based applications U3As? Yes No Yes Yes?????? No?? It is early days in the explosive growth of cloud storage but members of U3A committee can, at no cost to members, use cloud storage accounts as an extra backup for important files. More useful is to connect officers devices online to share files so that they are all working with the same library or filing cabinet of information. This is not automatically a substitute for communication but an additional facility. Slide 15 What is on offer? Dropbox Google Drive Microsoft SkyDrive Apple icloud Amazon Cloud Drive box SugarSync 2GB+ free 5GB free 7GB free 5GB free 5GB free 5GB free 5GB free There is a very wide choice of services on offer. With more than 100,000 A4 pages of text unlikely to use up 1GB, there is no lack of storage space for U3A committee documents but storing hundreds of photographs could be an issue.

7 Slide 16 The new guys: BT cloud 2GB/50GB free Mega 50GB free Megacloud 8GB+ free Wuala 15GB free Spideroak 2GB free Ubuntu 5GB+ free etc.etc. What s in it for them? So many firms, large and small, are keen to offer anyone free storage. This is all to do with brand recognition, advertising revenue, to develop interest in their other products and the hope that you will pay for additional storage. They all see that the growth in numbers of smart phones and tablets means more individuals and organisations will need cloud storage to synchronise range of devices. Slide 17 Which files do U3A committees need to share? 1. Completed files for public consumption e.g. advertising literature, information on groups, photographs, archives of activities, newsletters and bulletins (carefully edited!) 2. Completed files for committee consumption e.g. minutes of meetings, financial summaries, information for committee use (such as key advice sheets from the Third Age Trust) 3. Working files e.g. the membership database, publications in preparation, planning documents In researching the potential use of cloud storage by Banbury U3A, it became very apparent that: Not all files need to be shared with other members of the committee. There were 3 types of files that could be stored in the cloud. Many files of type 1 could equally go on the U3A s website. A cloud storage account, accessed only by committee members through username and password, could contain both confidential information and information of little interest to the general membership. There was an important difference between completed files and working files. Slide 18 What are Banbury U3A s methods of sharing? 1. Completed files for public consumption Most can be posted on the website but names and contacts (e.g. for group leaders and committee members) are not included. 2. Completed files for committee consumption The Google account, accessed by committee members only by password, provides all s and files to download on the Google Drive 3. Working files Post holders download the Google Drive app and collaborate as required. After investigating Google Drive, Microsoft s SkyDrive and Dropbox, it was decided to set up a Google Drive account since: Banbury U3A already had a Google Gmail account for its communication. The Google Drive folder could be easily accessed from its Google account home page. Those committee members involved with the creation and editing of files

8 downloaded the Google Drive app on to their laptop or desktop computer. A protocol was developed to use this virtual filing cabinet effectively and safely. With important documents now in one place rather than on various devices, it was felt that other committee members should also have access to the folder. They do not need the Google drive app to do this. They just open the Drive tab on the Banbury U3A Google account and download (rather than open) any file they wished. Slide 19 Treasurer Membership Secretary Membership database file Chairman Newsletter Editor The best way to illustrate the use by Banbury U3A of its Google Drive account is to look at its membership database file. The file is constantly being updated by the Membership Secretary as members come and go or contact details change. The file is used by the Treasurer record payment of subscriptions. The Newsletter Editor needs a new list every time a newsletter is ready for delivery. The Chairman is also a document creator and so has immediate access to the latest version if required.

9 Slide 20 The Master file is synced with all other lists whenever machines are connected to the internet Treasurer s file Membership Secretary s file Master file Chairman s file The Master file needs to be taken off the cloud drive to be edited and then renamed before being put back Newsletter Editor s file The identical master files are in cloud storage and on the devices of those committee members that create and edit documents. In order to show others that the file is being worked on, the editor removes the file from this virtual replicated library shelf. To be extra safe, a backup of the old file is also copied and pasted into an archive folder in the cloud. After editing, the updated file is renamed to include the officer s initial and the date. A copy of it is then pasted back into the editor s cloud drive folder, available to others when required. Keeping previous copies of the file also allows the origin of any mistake to be located. Google Docs allows collaboration of editors online but we have not found files in Docs format easy to use or read, so still use Microsoft Office. Apparently, it is more common practice is to have individual logins and share folders between people in use of cloud accounts. We could use this in future as there may be an advantage in security. Slide 21 The cloud storage folder is like any other folder of collected files. However, with this one, the files that are copied and pasted into it will end up in all other users folders too. Accessing a cloud storage folder is simply a matter of clicking on the icon to open the folder on a laptop or desktop screen

10 Slide 22 The Banbury U3A Google Drive contains (as of September 2013) documents that are often updated. In folders are archive and completed documents (in pdf format) including such items as the handbook, the constitution, membership forms, minutes of committee meetings, recent newsletters and bulletins, photographs (with permission of the members they contain) and a selection of key documents from the Third Age Trust. Slide 23 Those committee members not involved in document preparation and editing can go to the Google Account home page. Slide 24 Click on the Drive tab next to the Gmail tab.

11 Slide 25 The tab opens to reveal all the folders and files in the cloud (and the chance to download the drive app if and when required). Slide 26 It is very similar on another version of the Google home page. Slide 27 Here the 9 dotted square symbol is present.

12 Slide 28 Clicking on it reveals the Drive folder Slide 29 As before Slide 30 What are the benefits for a U3A? A virtual library, replicated on user s devices. Extra backup of files. A place to build an archive. Improved access to important files and flow of information between committee members. Up to date working files accessible to those who use them. An alternative source when pieces of paper go missing. A chance for new committee members to hit the ground running with information they need. Having started as a way of improving communication, particularly between the Membership Secretary and the Treasurer, the potential of a cloud storage account has expanded. It is very much work in progress.

13 Slide 31 What issues might be raised by sceptics? 1. What if files get lost in the cloud? 2. What about security of personal information? 3. What if committee member have different equipment and software? 4. What if committee members already have a cloud account by the chosen provider? 5. What if there is resistant to change (usually based on fear, frustration and/or finance)? All the files should be on at least one user s device as well, so only copies could ever get lost. Financial information, medical information etc. are not involved here. Personal contact information is already available through printed and online telephone directories and their addresses are already in the cloud with the U3A s and members providers. Most files could also be in the cloud as attachments. No extra security risks should therefore be involved. The chances of a committee member s computer being hacked is far greater than the hacking of established cloud storage company servers. Organisations have the same responsibilities to comply with data protection legislation whether information is held on PCs or in the cloud. The former is more of a worry. Encryption of files (for example using the Boxcryptor free tool) could be put in place to allay fears. The cloud software is not usually dependent on the operating system but is it difficult to use Microsoft Office files on tablet computers. This could be a snag because it is current only possible to have one app for each account for each cloud storage provider on any one machine, unlike having multi accounts. A training session/demonstration in a committee meeting will be required anyway and written stepby-step instructions can provide both the beginner and advance user with the tools to learn what to do. Downloading a small piece

14 of software and using files and folders is relatively elementary. Slide 32 Internet security for committees? Confirm that committee members holding personal information have : an internet security software installed a secure wireless network adequate passwords Knowledge of good practice Write information sheets and have a training session When sending s: Include your U3A in the subject title Name each attached file with your U3A, content and a date Use Bcc (Blind carbon copy) to send to any groups of members Recent stories of cyber-criminality and international spying can be worrying and weak links will always be exploited. The Banbury U3A Gmail inbox received 7 dodgy s in 2013 claiming to be from members when they were clearly not. The members were each contacted and advised to change their password and no more have been received since. Committees have a responsibility for the U3A and its members which extends into their use of their devices. These final slides raise issues for debate about internet security. Slide 33 Receiving s securely Delete dodgy s e.g. those that: come from unknown people or organisations have a link and no message claim you have a parcel that needs delivery says you online account is suspended is from your bank says you have won money or a prize Is from a known contact but is asking for money after a theft Is an auto-confirm when nothing has been ordered Never open an attachment or click on a web link unless you are sure it is genuine. Keep all members informed of these scams!!!

15 Slide 34 Password security A good password: Is 8 or more digits long Does not include full words Has letters and numbers Uses upper and lower case letters Includes keyboard symbols (%,?, etc.) Is changed regularly Is not shared between accounts It is not always advisable to save passwords on your devices How about: writing them down in a book Put it in an unusual place Tell someone else where it is for when you are no longer around to access your online accounts.

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