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Documents overtake photos in the cloud amid COVID-19

People are storing documents more often than photos and other media files in the cloud by 29% amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research from NordLocker.

"Cloud usage has been increasing significantly since the beginning of 2020," says Oliver Noble, an encryption specialist at NordLocker. 

"This can be attributed to the growing usage of data related to work and online learning," he says.

According to the research, as many as 88% of respondents say they use cloud services, with Google Drive being the most popular choice (60%). The second most used cloud storage among those surveyed is Microsoft OneDrive (52%), followed by Dropbox (44%) and iCloud Drive (37%).

"Google Drive being the surveyees' first choice doesn't surprise much since the service is easy to use and provides the biggest free storage limit (15GB), compared to others," says Noble. 

"However, the situation might change soon, as Google Photos is ending their free unlimited storage from 1 June 2021, meaning users will start looking for other paid options to back up their large photo albums," he says.

When asked why they use a cloud service, 84% revealed they use it for document storage, which is 29% more than for storing media files (55%), like photos, music, and videos, the research found. The second and third most popular ways to use the cloud are file sharing (63%) and data backups (62%). Collaboration and transferring of big files are also pretty common reasons for using cloud services both answers were marked as applicable by 39% of respondents.

Noble says the COVID-19 situation has impacted cloud usage, as end-users started to upload significantly more important information to the cloud than before.

"This is closely related to the fact that companies are accelerating their move to the cloud, and employees must follow the practice of storing documents, sharing files, collaborating with colleagues, and backing up data via the convenient and safe cloud computing platform," he explains. 

"Privacy concerns are more important than ever, as NordVPNs research shows that 62% of people are using their personal devices to work from home during the pandemic. The cloud, especially the encrypted kind, as offered by NordLocker, can provide file protection and secure accessibility anywhere."

NordLocker conducted a Customer Service and Support survey of 500 of its randomly selected users in September 2020.

NordLocker is a first end-to-end file encryption tool with a private cloud. It was created by NordVPN.