What is iCloud Photo Library?
iCloud Photo Library is an optional feature of iCloud which allows you to backup, sync, and share your images including video.
Many people ask me the following question(s).
1) Should I turn on iCloud Photo Library?
2) Is iCloud Photo Library Safe or Secure?
3) Do You Have iCloud Photo Library Setup On Your iPhone?
Should I turn on iCloud Photo Library?
My answer to this question is not the simple “yes or no” answer most people will be seeking. I usually address this question with the statement “…well that depends.” Inevitably the person asking will follow with “…that depends on what?” My answer will vary based on the users answer to another question. I follow this question with the question. Do you back up your iOS photos to another location such as your computer?
I would also ask how often the user backs up their photos? In my experience, most users who are not already utilizing iCloud to backup their photos fail to backup their photos manually. I would say this is the case nine times out of ten. Another situation I have observed is that many iOS users have their iCloud account partially setup on their device. Which could mean part of their data gets backed up and part of it does not. They incorrectly assume all is well since they are logged into iCloud.
It is my experience that the majority of iOS device owners can afford to spend the $1.00-3.00 cost per month to secure their data on iCloud. At the very least, I encourage most to buy the $1.00 per month plan. At the time of this article the $1.00 plan gets the user 50 GB of iCloud storage. I also advise iOS users to take a once over (5 minutes) on their iCloud settings to ensure everything is being properly backed up. I’ll be adding more posts as to what I recommend on basic iCloud settings.
Is iCloud Photo Library Safe or Secure?
To answer this question, one should start by defining “Safe or Secure.” Really a user could mean several different things when using these terms. I believe the question behind this question is two-fold. If we referring to the safety of iCloud Photo Library as a long-term solution? Or is iCloud Photo Library safe from of a security breach?
I would say it depends on what a user’s valid alternatives are. If a user is committed to backing up their photos to their computer manually as an alternative, one could argue that their computer is a safer solution. It is important to consider if a user would actually perform the backup on a consistent basis. Many will claim they will perform a manual backup, but when it comes down to it, they fail to do it for weeks on end. In this case, I would argue iCloud Photo Library is a safer alternative. iCloud works automatically without the physical act of performing a backup.
If we were to ask if iCloud Photo Library safe from of a security breach? I would tend to lean on the side of caution and not use a blanket “yes or no” answer. I do believe that Apple cares deeply about the data of their users. I do believe that Apple has more than adequate resources eagerly devoted to securing iCloud as a backup solution. I do not believe that anyone can completely escape security breaches at this point in time. I do believe that of any company, Apple is amongst the most trustworthy companies to lookout for the good of their customers.
Do You Have iCloud Photo Library Setup On Your iPhone?
Yes! I absolutely do. I do this even though I backup my photos manually to an external hard drive. Why? It costs me very little and ensures my photos are safe somewhere. Even when I forget to back them up.