10 Useful Tips to Secure Your Cloud Data
Are you almost always persisting to use cloud services to save your data? Well, you are not the only person in the world to think that way and so your ambivalence is valid. However, it is best to know that cloud-based storage services are here for good. These happen to be the ultimate solutions for storing the data online, with an ease of access whenever you want and wherever you want.
While it may seem tempting, people still raise concerns regarding the matter in terms of security. Who knows someone can just sneak into your cloud data and access the sensitive information that you stored on cloud merely to save space on your hard disk. It certainly sounds like a hard bargain. Therefore it is advisable to take precautionary measures before it’s too late.
Nonetheless, it is not the cloud storage, in all, that is an unsafe choice. To be honest, it is the best thing that could have happened for we have loads of data and limited disk space. Instead of buying an external disk space, why not take advantage of what we have been provided with? It simply requires little bit of your time and effort to ensure its safety. Here’s how you can go about protecting your data and go on using cloud-based storages without the fear of unauthorized access:
1. First things first: Password
It is wise to have various username and passwords for each of the sites that require your credentials. If someone get their hands on one of your accounts, and you have same passwords for all, imagine the irony of all your accounts becoming compromised. Save yourself the horror and create several of them.
Are you aware of passphrases? Well, they are phrases rather than just words and are not restricted to mere dictionary words or names. Use a phrase from a favorite poem, part of a song lyric, or the first phrase your first child said. This way you are keeping it simple yet least predictable.
2. Learn: Password Management
If you thought of what anybody would think of after reading the first point, then here’s how you can manage all of them single-handedly. Dedicate some space in your cloud storage for storing the usernames and passwords and for that particular account, you will have to remember one username and one password, a strong password, to actually be able to log into it. Remember, you will have to remember it forever. This could work unless you lose your memory in times to come, which is an uncertain calamity so calm down.
This is a manual way of doing that. Other option is to get yourself software that will help you in managing your passwords. Some people don’t trust that either and if you are one of the many, go back to the previous trick. If you have something even better in mind, go for it!
3. Safest thing to do: Backup your data
This looks like the most overlooked aspect when it comes to cloud storages. But if you do have a backup, in case something happens, you will have a secure backup of everything. While we might come across losing our contacts from the phone, some organizations have actually become victim of losing their customers data. Before that ever happens, perform regular data backups or you may lose your data permanently.
4. Encryption is for…. Everyone!
It is the securest and the most effective method of ensuring data security. There are so many modern tools out there that can help you encrypt sensitive data so that only you can decrypt it with a key. Of course, you can get away with everything with the use of a good software program except for a government body, provided they request the data for any purpose they like for.
An alternative of this could be choosing a cloud service that has automatic data encryption for security purposes. It saves the time of encrypting each time.
5. To-read: Terms and conditions
We often overlook the terms and conditions but this is where you need to read them with eye wide open. Not everyone would boast about using your shared content anytime they like so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Read the terms and conditions given by the provider prior to using the service.
6. Alert! Logging in from elsewhere
Sometimes we are just too casual about it and think a mere password will do the trick. So we log in from another device, uncheck where it says ‘save my password’, and we are good to go. This is a big NO in terms of security. You never know what device is discreetly saving information through web browsers. It’s best to use your own devices only.
7. Secure everything: from computers to wireless networks
A head-start for keeping everything secure is to ensure that your own computer is secure from malware. Anti-malware protection is a must for all the devices that you use. This is so because malware can be present anywhere; in emails, websites, hidden downloadable files, photos and even shareware, and can be in any form; trojans, worms, viruses, spyware and others. Get yourself good quality anti-virus software to protect yourself from malicious software and run regular scans.
It is essential to secure the wireless networks as well. Make them password-protected to keep any unauthorized individuals away from using your Wi-Fi network, at all.
8. Sharing is dangerous: Disable it right away
It is best to actually disable file and media sharing if there is no such need. Transfer of data is common in between computers at home but you need to ensure that they are not publicly available unnecessarily. The cloud storages have options to share data with others – uncheck it to disable the sharing completely.
9. Sensitive information? Think again!
Since the Internet came to us, privacy became a thing of the past. If there are any top secret files that you need to store, make the cloud your very last resort. Avoid keeping any files that contains sensitive passwords like national identification number, credit card numbers, etc. However, if you do feel the need to do so then encrypt them before you save them.
10. For extra security: Keep it quiet
It is highly advisable not to share the cloud service information with anyone. The more people you tell the higher chances of inviting people to look into it. There are so many options available today, let them wonder if they do want to but always be super cautious about keeping your cloud storage vendor a secret. Take it as cherry to top the cake; everything else stays well hidden if you pull this move off.
So before you go on considering it a breath of relief, or the complete opposite that it’s a menace, ensure all the safety measures are in place. One last tip before you set up an account, or secure an existing one: Remember to use private cloud hosting models over public clouds and don’t forget to sign out even on a personal computer – Prevention is always better than the cure itself!