Michelle Simplson| Cloudtweaks
Cloud storage has revolutionized the way we keep our files and because most of the established cloud storage providers use the best security and encryption technology available, most of us tend to forget that we have our own part to do in ensuring the safety of our own files.
While cloud storage can free us from such worries as having malicious programs sneak into our computer system, there are still practices that we have to observe to keep our data safe in the cloud. If you’re already taking advantage of online storage or plan to move your digital luggage online, here are some tips that can help prevent data loss and unauthorized access to your files.
Use a Unique Password for Your Cloud Storage Account
You may have already read this before but here it is anyway: use a different username and password for each and every site and online service that you use. Again, we reiterate the importance of using a unique username and password for your cloud storage account. Choose a unique password that’s difficult to guess and preferably, consists of a combination of letters and numbers. Doing so can help prevent unauthorized access of your account in case your credentials on other sites and web services get compromised.
Do not Use Easy to Guess Answers to Security Questions
Most cloud storage providers give you a layer of protection in case you accidentally forget your login details. This often comes in the form of security questions. Scammers and hackers, however, can easily bypass this security check if you use answers that are found online. Hackers, for instance, can easily guess your mother’s maiden name by checking your online profile. The smart way to go about this is to answer security questions with fictional answers. If the security question is where you were born, you can answer with a nonexistent “hotel 358”. Do not Share Your Credentials with Anyone
You may be observing best practices to protect your data in the cloud but if you entrust your credentials to someone who does not know anything about safe computing and internet browsing, you may put your data at risk. Avoid sharing your cloud service account username and password with anyone. If you have reason to believe that your account information is compromised, change your login details as soon as possible. You may also contact your cloud vendor’s business phone number to ask them for help and let them know that something is amiss.
Encrypt Your Data
As much as possible, encrypt your data before uploading them online. This can help protect your files in case somebody manages to get your login details. There is a number of encryption software such as Truecrypt that you can use to ensure that only authorized people get to view you online files. File compression programs also give you the ability to password-protect your zipped folders.
Backup Your Files
To protect your data from loss in case your cloud storage provider gets hacked or closes down, it is best to have backups of your data on a physical drive. This may sound ironic because most users use the cloud to back up their files and get rid of physical drives. Just think of it this way: your personal copy may come handy in case you lose your data online. Never, ever keep just one copy of your files.
Use Security Software
You may compromise your cloud data’s security if your own computer system has security issues. Password sniffing malware, for example, may allow hackers to get your cloud account credentials and put your data at risk. Always keep your computer clean and free from viruses and malware by using reliable and updated antivirus software.