5 Ways to Protect Your Cloud Storage

April 1st 2020
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@abdul-mannanAbdul Mannan

The days of thumb drives are slowly passing us by because cloud-based storage solutions are here to stay. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox store your data on the web and let you access them at any place and time. As long as you have access to the internet that is. But in this day and age, who doesn’t right?
The ease of use and convenience is very attractive but alas every rose has its thorn. The average user faces a lot of security concerns when uploading his/her files on the cloud. The main one being, you can never be too sure of who or what is accessing your confidential information.
But there’s no need to stress just yet. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. All we need to do is take some extra steps to protect our data from malicious intentions. In this article, I’m going to share five tips that one can utilize to keep his/her cloud storage secure.  

1. Use strong passwords to protect your data

Your password is incredibly important because it’s the first line of defense against insidious hackers. A strong password will make their jobs all the more harder. 
There are lots of tips on the internet on ways to password protect Google Drive folder and other platforms so I’ll refrain from mentioning them here. What you need to keep in mind is that your password should be strong, unique, changing frequently, and different from all of your other online accounts. 

2. Back up your data

Remember to always have a backup of your data. This might sound obvious today but you’ll be surprised to know how many people still don’t follow this tip. 
All the experts consider creating digital copies of your files as an excellent practice. This makes it possible to access them in case the original gets corrupted or lost for whatever reason. With so many cloud storage solutions on the market, it’s easier than ever to set up cloud accounts as backups. 
And don’t just stop at cloud backups. Try to make some manual backups on some external storage as well. These include thumb drives and hard disks. They will serve as backups and allow you to access data when the internet is down or slow. 

3. Don’t try to store confidential information

If the internet has taught me one thing then it is that there is no real privacy on it. With keeping that in mind, I’d suggest you to avoid storing sensitive data on the cloud. You may call it paranoia or whatever but it is a fact that internet theft is constantly on the rise. Who would want to risk that? Plus, most people don’t need to regularly look at their most secret data through the cloud. 
I would recommend uploading only those files that require frequent access to the cloud and refrain from putting documents that mention your different online accounts or personal information like house address, credit card numbers, national identification number, etc. 
In case you really have to include this type of information in your files, do remember to encrypt it before an upload. 

4. Always encrypt data before uploading it on the cloud

As we previously mentioned, it’s important to encrypt confidential files before uploading them on the cloud. Now you can choose to use a cloud service that already has features to encrypt files or go for a third-party tool that can perform its own encryption. Here’s how. Just download a cloud-protection app that lets you use passwords and generate some secret key sequences to your files. 

5. Never fully trust your cloud service provider

All the cloud service providers make it convenient for you to store and share data but, never forget that they are a business first and foremost. Sometimes their services can come with some strings attached. 
For example, some few years back, Twitpic mentioned in their Terms of Service that sharing your images through their platform gives them the authority to ‘use or distribute’ the pictures. 
This should serve as a warning and make a good case as to why we should be aware of a cloud provider’s security and privacy policies. Always search for honest reviews first and foremost. It will give you an indication of the service’s reputation. 

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