A few weeks ago, I observed a friend toting his notebook computer through a hotel after a series of meetings. I asked him if he had his data encrypted and backed up. He looked at me a bit sheepishly and said, “No.”
If you are a “traditional” mobile professional, you have software installed on your computer and save your data to a hard disk or USB drive. And that means you could easily lose your data in the event of theft or hard-drive failure. Like my friend, there is a pretty good chance that you don’t have your files backed up, and those files would be completely lost.
One way to greatly increase data security is to not save any files on your computer’s hard disk or a thumb drive, but rather store it online.
A few months ago, I couldn’t fathom living in a world completely free of local data storage. I recently tested several notebook computers, however, and came to the conclusion that the next laptop I purchase will have not only Wi-Fi but also wireless broadband.
Wi-Fi is available in many locations—coffee shops, hotels, and business centers--in the United States and in many countries around the world. That said, you will still encounter remote locations where Wi-Fi is not available. When this happens, you can simply switch to mobile broadband—a wireless data service provided by cell-phone carriers
Mobile broadband is fast enough for email and Web browsing, and is available anywhere you can get a cell phone signal. If your mobile broadband service employs GSM standard, it will work in the United States as well as in many countries around the world – just like GSM cell phones.
How does this translate to a “world without software?”
Wi-Fi and mobile broadband make it easier to access your data via a Web browser, which means you don’t have to store data--or install applications--on your hard disk. Using a quad-band smartphone ensures that, even if accessing your notebook computer is not practical, you can always retrieve and view email, documents, and your Web browser via the smartphone.
Living in a world in which data are stored “in the cloud” means that you no longer have to worry about theft of data stored on a notebook or losing information due to a hard-disk failure.
Granted, there will be times when you simply must have data on a hard disk – like those 16-hour flights from New York to Asia. But relying less on your hard disk and more on the Internet to access and store data is a viable strategy.
And it’s becoming increasingly more viable because more planes will offer in-flight Internet access in the near future. Accessing your data from sea, air, or land will soon be entirely possible in the next several months.
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See other recent postings to this blog:
· Getting ready for a world of smartphones and mobile platforms (Posted on: 04 Nov 2008)
· New security threats require new solutions (Posted on: 06 Oct 2008)
This content may have been developed with IBM funding. Regardless, this work represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of IBM. Although the content may utilize publicly available material from various sources, including IBM, it does not necessarily reflect the positions of such sources on the issues addressed in this content.