3.5 Storing your data

In Lesson 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   we looked at ways to save a Word document in a location of your choice on your computer. In this section, we are going to look outside of your device for somewhere to save your data. That place is called the Cloud.

The Cloud is an internet-based storage facility on an external server. It allows people and organisations to save and share photos, documents and files.

Cloud data storage supplements the storage space on your computer’s hard drive and allows you to access your data from different devices. If you use an iPhone and iPad, for example, you can use the Cloud to access photos, documents and contacts from both devices. If your device gets lost, broken or stolen, this information can be recovered from the Cloud and installed onto a new device.

With cloud storage, you can manually select files that you want to store in the Cloud. With cloud backup, you do not need to select your files because the system automatically saves the files for you.

Cloud backup has obvious advantages. You can access your data from anywhere using any device and retrieve that data if your device is lost. This makes cloud backup more secure than a hard drive or USB stick.

One disadvantage of cloud backup is that you need to create and remember another password to make sure your data is safe. If you need more space than your provider gives you for free, you will need to pay a subscription fee to increase your storage capacity.

If you are planning to use a cloud service to store or back up files, here are some things to consider:

  • The amount of data you want to store.

  • The devices you want to back up.

  • The amount of storage space you may need to purchase.

  • The cloud storage provider you wish to use.

Cloud storage platforms

  • Google Drive.

  • iCloud.

  • OneDrive (Microsoft).

  • Dropbox.

  • Google Photos (backs up images).

Use your Google Search skills to explore which platform would be most suitable for your needs.

Activity 3.3: Using your search skills

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

This activity builds on some of the skills you’ve gained in Lesson 3. Use Google Search to find the answers to these questions about Brazil. Once you’ve found them, type them into the box below.

  1. What is the capital city of Brazil?

  2. Find the capital city of Brazil on a map.

  3. What is the weather in the capital city of Brazil?

  4. Find a large-sized picture of Christ the Redeemer, a landmark in Brazil.

  5. Bookmark your favourite picture.

Remember what you’ve learned about search terms, filters, Google apps and bookmarks.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


  1. The capital city of Brazil is Brasilia. You can find this using the search term ‘Brazil capital’.

  2. You can find Brasilia on a map by using the search term ‘Brasilia, Brazil’ and clicking on ‘Maps’.

  3. If you use the search term ‘weather Brasilia Brazil’, then Google will display the current weather there at the top of the results as well as other websites below it containing more details about the weather.

  4. To find a picture of Christ the Redeemer, use the search term ‘Christ the Redeemer Brazil’ and click ‘Images’. To find a large picture, click ‘Tools’, ‘Size’, and then ‘Large’. This filter will show only large-sized images for that search term.

  5. You can bookmark your favourite image by clicking on the star beside the URL in the address bar.

3.4 Smart TV and voice assistants

Lesson 3: Summary