Tech Talk Tuesday: iCloud the Darkside of Sharing

Updated: Tuesday, September 3 2013, 10:10 AM MDT
Tech Talk Tuesday: iCloud the Darkside of Sharing story image

By Lonnie Valencia

The promise of all your contacts, appointments, and important information floating above you wherever you go sounds good, right?  Always having your backup buddy in a pinch is what iCloud is all about.  The extension of iCloud from your iMac to your iPad to your iPhone gives you the power of never being away from your iMessages, iWork documents, notes, and email. But what happens when that nice fluffy cloud turns dark and ominous?  Could your cloud be used against you?  In this episode of Tech Talk, I turn the phrase Sharing is caring upside down and help keep an iCloud thunderbolt from coming to hit ay where the good lord split ya.

Ever since I said I was a reluctant mega Apple user, I've received nothing but Apple related questions.  I don't mean to exclude you Android, or to a lesser extent, Blackberry or Window smartphone users; there just seems to be a lot of confusion about the is.  What I'm referring to is iCloud, iTunes, and iPhone related apps.  Most of my emails are about husbands and wives contacts getting mixed up, or an app that is restricted on one device but not on another.  And then there's my personal favorite: getting each others text messages.  I think iCloud has lead to splitting up more couples than any other program in history just because of the whole text messages thing.  Its funny to me because there is a very easy way to fix all of these problems and the first step is to change the way you think about the is. 

Most people group the i products together, either because they start with an i, they're from Apple, or both.  That, my friends, is the mistake.  Each product is separate!  I cant stress this enough, especially for iCloud and iTunes.  They are separate!  That is step one- knowing that the products are individual apps.  If you are having trouble with that, then the next step is going to blow your mind.  Each i product is meant for one person.  BOOM!

When it comes to the is, sharing is not caring.  Its disaster ready to smack you in the face. For example, one of the emails I received was from a woman that recently broke up with a boyfriend and wanted to know what to do about the iTunes account they shared.  That's a tricky situation, as its not like you can grab the DVDs and CDs and put them in a box and leave them for him at the door anymore.  All I can say is as long as the iTunes account is in your name and the credit card on file is yours, change your password and never share your account again. 

The no sharing rule applies to iCloud too.  The number one reason for merged contacts is a shared iCloud.  I don't care if your married and have nothing to hide, do not share an iCloud.  There are too many things that get messed up when you do this. 

1.Contacts get jumbled up.  I made this mistake with my wife and I got all her work contacts tripling the list I have to thumb through.  I also, got duplicates that messed up my phone. For example, I had my dad under dad and so did she but for her dad. I had to reset my phone as it never got over the entries being the same.

2.Backup storage was filled over night.  My wife and I both have iPads and iPhones so four devices on one backup never worked.

3.We got each others messages.  Not only that, but when we would message each other our iPhones never buzzed or beeped as it thought it was coming from one device.

4.Notes and documents were put together in one place.  Again, I got all her list of supplies and she got all my work agendas.  I didn't want her stuff and she didn't want mine. 

Trust me... Sharing was a nightmare!  A NIGHTMARE... I say!

An iCloud is for one person and one person only. Do not share, that is my advice to you.  It will save you from the headaches. 

I would even tell you not to share on your Apple computers.  There are different logins... use them.  Just because of things like wallpaper preference and email access I would tell you not to share, but an argument could be made for iMessage and Firefox bookmarks too. 

The only exception to this rule is for families sharing an iTunes account.  Sharing iTunes this way, will save money. Instead of each person in the family buying the same app over and over,  it makes sense to purchase one app on one account for the whole family.  That said, its still not without its down falls.  Each person needs to have their own iCloud, Game Center, and email accounts.  Plus, you are also giving access to apps like iBooks to people that you may not want them seeing what you've been reading.  Like the hit series Fifty Shades of Gray for example.  Maybe it's in my collection on iTunes, who knows, but do I really want my sons to stumble on that gem of a book?

That does it for this episode of Tech Talk Tuesday.  As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia..

Tech Talk Tuesday: iCloud the Darkside of Sharing
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