Using more than one cloud storage service, file repository or email folder system? San Francisco-based Simplexo has launched a tool called SearchYourCloud that could help you hunt for documents and files across Dropbox, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint or Outlook.com. (Support for Google Drive, EverNote and Sky Drive is planned for later this year.)
The software supports secure full-text searches, and returns results based on relevance to the overall query. It can poke into the content of email, documents, presentations and other file formats. So, for example, if I seek the term "Web 2.0," it will help filter out responses that might have the number 2 in them somewhere but aren't really pertinent or that might randomly have the word Web in them.
That in itself is pretty compelling for anyone weary of playing search roulette, but I'm sure everyone who is even remotely concerned about security has both eyebrows raised sharply.
That's why SearchYourCloud would like you to know that it is taking steps to ensure that it handles how it displays search results or grants access very carefully. It masks the requests from public search engines and doesn't store direct URLs for files or user log-ins or passwords for email accounts. Files and data traffic are encrypted to AES 256 specifications.
What's more, you can also set up the service so that documents automatically self-destruct or are deleted after a certain amount of time. Here's the requisite statement about security and privacy from Simplexo founder and Chief Technology Officer Simon Bain:
"Many people believe that there is a tradeoff between ease of access to information and security. In reality, finding information from mobile devices has been both extremely convoluted and not secure. SearchYourCloud enables users to not only find what they are searching for, but also protects their data and privacy in the cloud. The Simplexo team has worked long and hard to deliver a remote access solution that doesn not require users or businesses to compromise productivity, privacy or security."
Despite those assurances, this is definitely one area where you should proceed with caution, given all the news we've seen about security breaches with Dropbox and other cloud storage services.
Right now, you can try SearchYourCloud — you'll need a Windows computer to set up an account and use it with your Apple iOS mobile device — for two weeks for free. After that, there's a $25 "one-off" fee.