Top Safety Tips for New Cloud Users
We have bid our goodbyes to flash drives and thumb drives from the role of data carriers quite a while ago. With the new cloud storage services we can upload and download any number of documents and data as per our convenience. From bank details to ID scans, everything has found a home in the clouds. But the real concern lies in the safety and not the access of information.
So how can you be sure that your data is safe in the cloud storage you are using? For starters, you cannot be sure, at all. The rising concern about the safety of data has become a critical component in the storage and transmission process. Even the most sought after services do not have the equipments to cater the safest of the services, ever for large corporations who require customized storage services.
In spite of the shortcomings of cloud storage and safety, there are a few steps you can take to ensure some added security for your valuable data and information. Here is a sneak peak at the things smart people do to keep their data secure in the cloud.
1. Take Passwords Seriously
This may sound a bit too obvious, but this the most common step where people go wrong. Do not choose obvious passwords like your better half’s name, nickname, your nickname, your pet’s name or significant dates. Try to explore the by lanes of your imagination when it comes to setting passwords, remember, the weirder, the better. So knock yourself out. Typically unhackable passwords comprise of a healthy mix of alphabets, numbers and symbols. Also, a longer password decreases the chances of breaking since the probability of finding the right combination for a longer password is incredibly low.
2. Be Careful About Your Access Points
Well, let’s admit it. It has happened to every one of us at least once. We have left our Facebook or Twitter account logged in from a friend’s or colleague’s device and have been pranked only too naively. But when it comes to your bank details or ID details you cannot be as casual. You can only imagine the implications for forgetting to log out of your cloud account from public or office computers. Anyone who uses the computer next will have direct access to your private and valuable information. The smartest way is to use incognito mode or use only your private devices to log into to your cloud accounts. Just like Facebook has come up with alert systems which send you messages and emails if your account is used from an unknown device, many cloud services are coming up with such stranger alert systems. This can protect you and your data from public access and also from virus attacks.
3. Where Are You Keeping Your Data?
Always remember the location address of your data. Just like setting up a security system for your home, you will need to set up alarms, firewalls and warning systems to protect your data from intruders. Although the technology to pinpoint the location of your data on the cloud server is beyond the reach of most cloud computing services, you should look for such services which can physically locate your data storage position in the cloud. The best way to go about it is to buy dedicated hardware which may be quite the pocket pinch, but then again it is completely necessary if you want to protect your data.
4. Do Not Omit The User Agreement Page
Ticking the cute little box beside the user agreement has become our muscle memory. We don’t even bother reading the first line of the agreement let alone verify the claims and conditions. But in case of cloud computing, never omit the clauses mentioned in the agreement. Most of the agreement talks about how your cloud storage service works. It might be absolutely tedious and prosy, but it will pay off at the end of the day when the question of data safety arises. In fact the comparison of multiple user agreement documents gives you a new perspective towards the cloud storage and management systems available within your reach.
5. Learn Data Encryption
Encryption may sound Greek to some of us at the moment, but in reality it becomes quite a simple process with the aid of a software. The encryption software creates a password for the file you want to store in the cloud. Once you move this password protected file to the cloud no one will be able to open the file without the set password. This is one of the most time-tested methods to provide security to your data without too much hassle and headache. The easiest way is to zip files and then encrypt them with strong (and weird) passwords.
6. If Possible, Do Not Store Extremely Sensitive Info On The Cloud
This is for the absolutely paranoid beings who are losing sleep over the safety of their documents. Since there is no foolproof way to ensure the safety of your personal details on the clouds, the best measure is to refrain from storing extremely sensitive information on the clouds. This is the simplest and the best solution, if there is no sensitive or incriminating information about/against you on your cloud, there is no reason to lose sleep over finding the best protective services. After all, with the current pace of tech evolution, the day is not far when computing brainiacs come up with the 360 degree solution for data storage and security.
Bio: Mauricio is the CEO of Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud apps and services. He enjoys writing and producing educational videos around the cloud to help people find the best cloud service for their needs. Get in touch with him on Google+.