5 Steps to Keep Your Cloud-Stored Data Secure
Almost half of all US business data is stored in the cloud these days, and many individuals keep their data in the cloud, as well. Whether you use iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or one of the many other services, keeping files in the cloud can be very convenient. However, recent data breaches at cloud-based services highlight come of the security concerns.
How To Keep The Data You Have Stored In The Cloud Secure?
1. Evaluate Your Provider's Policies
If you're like most people, you just click the Accept box at the bottom of the terms and service agreement, without even reading the details. However, when it comes to the security of your important files, it is worthwhile to verify how your cloud provider handles privacy and security. How committed are they to keeping your data safe? Some services say that they encrypt all of your data, and cannot even see what you have stored with them. Others give themselves the right to access your data whenever they choose, or even scan your files for anything they decide is “inappropriate”. Check the terms for your provider, and see if you are comfortable with them, or if it's time to make a switch.
2. Use Complex Passwords
You've heard this one before, but many people still use simple, easy to remember passwords. These are easier for you, but they're also easier for hackers or anyone trying to access your account. Get a password manager which can generate complex passwords for you and store them in an encrypted format. Also, be sure to have a different password for every service you access.
3. Set up 2-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication isn't possible for every cloud service, but when you have this option available, it can be a big step to improving your security. Check the security settings on your account, and see how the system handles a password reset request. Will it send you a notification, so you're aware if someone is trying to get into your account? Also look at your security questions, and make sure they are not too easy. Your mother's maiden name is not hard for a person to discover. Select more obscure security questions, or make up answers that only you will know.
4. Review Your Connected Devices and Apps
Each connection to your cloud storage offers a potential way for somebody to get into your account. For this reason, occasionally review the list of all devices and apps that are connected to your cloud storage. If you find any apps on the list that you no longer need, then remove them. If there are old devices you don't own or use anymore, then disconnect them from your account, too.
5. Encrypt Sensitive Files
One of the advantages of cloud storage is that it's easy and convenient to simply upload everything there. However, there are some documents, like important contracts or financial statements, that could use more protection than you need for your vacation photos. A good idea is to encrypt these sensitive files yourself before uploading them, with a password required for access. What you lose in convenience, you gain back in security.