To combat the rise in hacking and avoid ransomeware attacks, earlier this year the head of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin recently advised people to back up their data.*  

If you are a BT Broadband customer backing up your data - photos, videos and documents - is incredibly easy. All BT broadband customers get free storage with BT Cloud, so in the unlikely event something happens, you haven't lost your precious memories.

[Read more: Cloud computing and the cloud - explained]

‘The cloud’ is a term you’ve probably heard a lot, and is possibly something you’re already using it without realising it. Essentially the cloud a type of computing that uses the internet to connect your devices such as PCs, tablets and smartphones to a network of powerful remote servers to store data and run applications.

BT Cloud and Facebook use it to store files such as photos, while others like Netflix and Spotify use it to run applications and services. 

BT is the only internet service provider offering cloud storage to all its broadband customers. Customers have 5GB, 100GB or 500 GB depending on their broadband package.  

Why do I need BT Cloud?

1: It backs up your files securely

BT Cloud allows you to store your digital files remotely, instead of on your devices, freeing up storage space and adding an extra layer of security.

In the unfortunate event something happens to your tablet or smartphone, if you’ve backed up your files with BT Cloud, you haven’t lost them forever - they are safely stored in the cloud.

The BT Cloud desktop and mobile apps have an ‘Automatic backup’ feature you can activate that automatically back-up your photographs and videos, so you don’t have to remember.

If you are using a mobile phone, you can choose to back up your files using wi-fi instead of mobile data, so you don’t use your monthly data allowance.

2: It works across different types of device

BT Cloud can be used on a range of devices, including computers, laptops and mobile phones.

So instead of your photo collection (for example) being stored on your computer, tablet and smartphone, using BT Cloud means all files are stored together.

BT Cloud screenshot

You can upload a photograph to BT Cloud from your smartphone and edit it at home on your computer. All files are synced too, which means you’ll be able to view the latest version of the image no matter which device you are using.

3: You can access your files anywhere

What’s great about BT Cloud is that you can access it anywhere you’ve got an internet connection and a web browser.

This means your files are never far away - and you don’t have to worry about carrying a USB stick of photos or emailing important documents to yourself.

Just log into www.btcloud.bt.com enter your BT ID and you’ll be able to access your documents wherever you are in the world.

Is BT Cloud safe?

BT Cloud uses encryption to ensure your data is secure and private.

You are the only person you can access your account, although if you’ve shared your BT ID that person will be able to log-in and view your files, so consider changing your password.

BT doesn’t profile your personal content to serve you adverts, use it for marketing purposes or sell it to third parties.

Unlike some cloud services, your data is stored and hosted in the UK and subject to British privacy laws.

Using BT Cloud to share photos is more private than using a social network and you can send a link to individual files and folders via email to family and friends, so your photos are only seen by the people who you want to see them. Read more about sharing files with BT Cloud.

BT broadband customers also get free security software with BT Virus Protect that protects against viruses and malware.

Graphic of laptop, monitor and phone in cloud

How do I get BT Cloud?

To get started with BT Cloud you need to download the app and activate it.

Windows and Mac users can download the free BT Cloud app at www.btcloud.bt.com

Smartphone and tablets owners can download the free apps available for Android,  Apple, and Windows phones and tablets.

Once you have downloaded the app, simply log in with your BT ID.

*Via BBC