Cloud storage is a hot topic in our age of technology. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, cloud storage is where your data is stored, not on your device or computer but in an internet data center. Anything from images to documents to videos can be stored in the cloud. It’s called “the cloud” because it feels like a big space that hangs over your head and can be accessed anywhere. The big question that many are asking, “is cloud storage safe?” This is a question that doesn’t have one right or wrong answer.
Is Cloud Storage Safe?
If you’re looking for a simple answer, sometimes yes and sometimes no. It really all comes down to how secure you make it. You may have heard about celebrities who had their iCloud accounts hacked and racy pictures uploaded to the internet. These celebrities unfortunately made the mistake of not securing their cloud as well as they should have. This can happen by using weak passwords which hackers are then able to crack. Uploading virus-infected files can also weaken the protection of the cloud.
In terms of security, clouds are safer places to store your data than on your computer or device. DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive and Box are the most popular cloud services and they couldn’t have gotten as large as they are without making security a priority. These services are in the business of keeping your information safe, so long as you keep your end safe. Your information will be backed up 24/7 and they have the manpower and resources to squash any malware issues that may arise. On your home PC, you don’t have these same resources. A virus could potentially cause you to lose all of your information with no hope of getting it back.
How To Ensure Your Cloud Is As Secure As Possible
- Password Protection – The use of strong passwords is paramount. Use 12 to 16 characters made up of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and characters (@, #, $, etc.). You should also use a different password for every website you have to log in to. If you’ve made a truly strong password for a variety of websites, most likely you won’t be able to remember them all (most of us wouldn’t remember even one). You’ll need to use a password manager to easily access your passwords. Never store your passwords in your web browser or saved in a document stored on your device or computer.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication (When Available) – Two-factor authentication is an additional security measure which is offered by many websites or apps. This requires a password and then an additional step must be taken. Generally, this is a PIN number which is texted to you which you then enter to be able to log in. This extra step will prevent hackers from accessing your account, even if they crack your password.
- Backup – You should backup your files on an external hard drive. Things happen, so you have to be prepared. In the event that your cloud storage fails and they lose your data, you’ll have it backed up on your hard drive.
- Protect Your Computer/Device – Make sure your devices and computers are outfitted with antivirus/anti-malware protection. You also must be aware of where and what you’re downloading. Don’t download from unknown sources and don’t open e-mail attachments from unknown senders.
Is cloud storage safe? Yes, if you do your part. Use these tips to protect yourself and your personal data, but also take advantage of cloud storage. When used properly, “the cloud” can be an extremely beneficial tool.