Cloud Platforms: Translator’s Safety Net or Danger?

My previous post about the document recovery option on Dropbox has provoked many insightful and important comments and discussions. One of those discussions, in my opinion, deserves a separate thread.

Professional translators have to stay up to date with the new technology. Nevertheless, there always are some drawbacks. One of those controversial issues is using clouds (such as Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive). On the one hand, they do provide a very comfortable backup solution. In case a file was mistakenly deleted or changed, one can always restore previous versions by going back in history. Clouds don’t get stolen, broken, or decomposed by children. On the other hand, they raise another concern: client’s safety and confidentiality. Can a platform be hacked? Are we supposed to inform the clients in particular about keeping their files on a cloud platform?

I made a list of tips for translators who are looking for an effective backup solution (based on the discussions I had with other colleagues and on LinkedIn forums). Many of them do use clouds, but with some precautions.

If you choose to use a cloud platform:

  • Encrypt the files and provide the code only to the client. (In my opinion it provides a really good protection and pretty much solves the problem)
  • Inform your client about using the platform.
  • Restrict access to certain folders in case someone else is using your machine by password-protecting them.
  • Use double-step verification (works with Google). It sends you a different time every time you logon.

If you prefer not to use a cloud platform:

  • Use a wireless hard drive that is set up on automatic update every 10-15 minutes.
  • Use another hard drive to manually save your information.

I would be happy to hear your opinion and your experience concerning the following points:

  • Has your cloud platform ever been hacked?
  • Are those cases frequent enough to be a serious concern?
  • Can a third party access your information stored on cloud without being noticed?

I think it could be important for all of us.

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