Wisbech computer expert's tips on keeping your data safe
In his fortnightly column, Philip Brooks, of Diamond Byte Solutions, discusses keeping your data safe in the Cloud.
Internet cloud services are services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox and GoogleDrive, which store your data on a server rather than on your computer’s hard drive, so you can access it from any internet-enabled device anywhere in the world.
Cloud providers store your files, photos and other documents to an on-line location, thus offering an alternative backup to conventional methods of file storage.
But websites can get hacked and whilst it’s easy for us to blame corporations for poor security and hackers for maliciously attacking websites, there is often a third party at fault in these attacks: the users.
The following are some useful tips, which will help boost your own data’s security in addition to that offered by whichever internet cloud service provider you chose to use.
Keep Your Computer Virus-Free
It is imperative that your computer is virus-free, otherwise you run the risk of revealing your cloud log-in details. Make sure your virus scanner and anti-malware software is up-to-date, and that you run your anti-virus scanner on a regular basis.
Read The User Guide
If you are not sure what cloud storage to choose, or if you have any questions as to how a cloud service works, read the user agreement of the service you are planning to sign up for, however boring you may think it is. Be aware that your cloud service provider must keep your data as safe and secure as they can. A good provider will be able to offer several secure backups of your files, all stored in different locations. If the service provider only has one storage location, or if they reveal the exact physical whereabouts of their servers, their security may be compromised.
Be Serious About Passwords
So many people still do not take password security seriously. Did you know that 90 per cent of all passwords can be cracked within seconds? Create STRONG passwords of at least eight characters with both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Avoid Storing Sensitive Information
The best way to protect any highly sensitive information, such as finances, is to keep it well away from the virtual world and use an alternative storage solution.
Use An Encrypted Cloud Service
Some cloud services provide local encryption and decryption of your files as well as storage and backup. It means that the service takes care of both encrypting your files on your own computer and storing them safely on the cloud.