Sync – Is it Time to Drop Dropbox?

Online file sharing services such as Dropbox and Google Drive are terrific tools that are indispensable for many of us, however, we should all be conscious of what these services do with the information that we upload to them.

Our privacy might not be as private as we want when using these services, and it’s important as customers, consumers, and clients to demand stronger privacy protections as more of our personal and professional life is stored online every day.

Is there an alternative to the big name services which will also protect our privacy?

I think so, it’s called Sync (affiliate link) and we’re going to take a look at it together!

Sync.com (Affiliate Link)

Private…Until It Isn’t

Before we look at how and why Sync is a more secure alternative to the most popular file sharing and storage services it might help to look at an example of what it’s competitors say about your privacy.

This is an excerpt from the Dropbox Terms of Service, pertinent sections underlined.

“We need your permission to do things like hosting Your Stuff, backing it up, and sharing it when you ask us to…These and other features may require our systems to access, store, and scan Your Stuff. You give us permission to do those things, and this permission extends to our affiliates and trusted third parties we work with.”

Dropbox defines “Your Stuff” as including all content, files, messages, and contacts stored on Dropbox. This means that not only can Dropbox access and scan your information but that DropBox can share your data with affiliates and third parties, whose identity is not publicly available.

Dropbox says “Your Stuff is yours” and that their terms don’t give them any right to the information you upload, but giving themselves the right to access that information undermines the very principle of privacy.

Effectively, your privacy is yours until it’s theirs.

That’s not good enough for me, and I don’t think it is good enough for many of us, so let’s see what separates Sync from the rest of the pack.

Sync and Respecting Your Privacy

Sync does not allow anybody to see any of your data. How?

Encryption.

Sync encrypts your data at the source, which means it is encrypted the moment it is uploaded to their servers. Oh, and those servers are located in Canada which has some of the most strict and robust privacy laws in the world. Sync is compliant with every Federal and Provincial privacy regulation in Canada, as well as US, UK, and GDPR laws.

Nobody can access your data without your encryption key. Not Sync themselves, and certainly not some shadowy unnamed third party.

That’s more than good enough, that’s great.

Using Sync

You can access Sync either through the desktop app or through your browser. The desktop app allows you to customize your experience by determining where the files will be stored, perhaps on a Network Attached Storage Device or just on your desktop hard drive. It also makes it very easy for you to decide which files will be synced to their server. You can uncheck any folders any time and they will no longer be available on the server making it easy to determine what you share and when you share it.

There are a lot of options for file sharing and storage services and they all work very well. Sync is their equal in every way but does 2 things which the others just do not do; it aggressively protects your privacy, and they actually allow Canadians to pay in Canadian dollars which saves us money!

Whichever service you use just be sure to read up on what your rights are, and importantly what the service can do with the information you upload to them. As long as you’re comfortable with that, that’s great!

Until next time,

Have fun storming the castle!

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