Facebook is one of the more popular cloud computing activities; shopping online at Amazon.com is not cloud computing. What’s the difference? You are using cloud computing anytime you use programs or store files from someone else’s computer instead of your own. In the case of Facebook, it’s like they are giving you, and all of your friends, a personal website homepage, blog and photo archive to share. Another example is Google docs, a free online word processor that you access with a Web browser, but there is no software to purchase, such as Microsoft Word. Everything we do over the Internet is not cloud computing, however. When you are shopping at Amazon.com or paying your taxes online with the IRS, you are accessing their applications and data, and not replacing something you could run on your own PC instead. But like anything else you do online, ensuring a safe and secure cloud experience requires that you learn how to protect your digital identity on the Internet and protect your privacy.
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