How to Keep Your Cloud Secure

November 10, 2016

Whether it's cloud storage, software, or computing, more people and systems are making the switch to the cloud. But what exactly is the cloud and how secure is it?

In simplest terms, "the cloud" refers to any system of computer storage or processing performed over the Internet versus on a local hard drive. Most commonly, cloud-based systems use multiple computers and servers to perform tasks on-demand. The primary appeal of cloud-computing is to provide users with incredible resources while avoiding major upfront infrastructure costs.

When it comes to cloud storage, there are many popular services, which are quickly becoming household names, such as Dropbox, iCloud, and Mega. Many of these services come with an accompanying smart phone app, making accessing data even easier, especially while on the go.

There are several things you can do to make your data more secure. First of all, avoid password reuse. Many people use the same password for multiple accounts, which makes it easy for hackers to access all of your information after getting into only one of your accounts. The best passwords are often long phrases or sentences, which are easy to remember but difficult to hack. Be sure to use a great password and to enable two factor authentication, if available.

Next, audit your connected devices. Remember the apps we spoke of a moment ago? Well your phone doesn't have a fingerprint lock, password, or pattern, then anyone can easily access your data if they have your phone. These apps will also have security updates released periodically. Be sure to keep them up-to-date.

The final step is to make the files themselves more secure. In the off chance that someone hacks your account, it's probably best to not have sensitive information stored in your cloud account. Social security numbers, bank statements, family records and more are better off stored and backed up locally than on the cloud.

While the cloud is overall very secure, remember that security always begins with you.