Nearly half of iPhone users have little or no confidence in storing their personal information on iCloud, according to a survey of 1,001 iPhone users conducted by Clutch, a business-to-business (B2B) ratings and reviews firm.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of iPhone users said they are only "slightly" or "not at all" comfortable with storing personal information on iCloud. Meanwhile, 44% of respondents said they are "very" or "somewhat" comfortable with doing so.
iCloud, Apple's cloud storage and computing service for iOS devices, has at least 782 million users, and is one of the most popular cloud storage services in the U.S.
Clutch's survey asked respondents whether they know iCloud's function and found a correlation between knowledge of the function and comfort with storing personal information on iCloud. Users unfamiliar with iCloud's function are less likely to be comfortable storing personal information on the service. Industry experts suggested that users' fears over iCloud's security may be highly exaggerated.
"Compared to other major platforms out there for mobility, the Apple iOS platform is incredibly secure," says Matthew Bookspan, CEO of Blacktip IT Services, a business and technology consulting service specializing in Apple. He added that iPhones offer high-level security features, such as encrypted data and a fingerprint reader.
However, security flaws can exist in any software. Recent celebrity iCloud hackings and mishaps by Apple, such as iCloud accidentally storing deleted browser history, highlight the dangers that exist with cloud storage, from both company and user errors.
Aaron Mangal, host of The Cloud podcast at Network Remedy, an IT consulting firm and private cloud provider, said users should think more critically about where their information goes in the cloud.
“We have a false sense of security because of the simplicity of working with online information,” he adds. “We see it as being gone after a couple of clicks, but it definitely goes somewhere, which is an important takeaway."
The Clutch survey suggests that the security of iCloud depends on the actions of the user. The massive reach of the service implies that a seemingly infinite number of scenarios for security breaches exist. However, iCloud has a well-stocked variety of security features, such as 128-bit AES encryption and two-factor authentication.
The study concludes that if users choose strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and stay skeptical of phishing attempts, among other proactive security measures, then the odds that their iCloud data will stay secure are strongly in their favor.