With all of the recent news about people’s cloud based data being stolen via hacking, it’s increasingly important for you to look out for your own security when it comes to hosting files and data on the internet. While storing data in the
cloud is easy, not to mention convenient, security is paramount. Many firms like Google and Microsoft are advocating increased security in their services using stronger encryption, two-factor authentication, and requiring stronger passwords.
However, the real front line when it comes to keeping your online information safe is you. There are many simple solutions to keep your data secure, and most of it is as simple as having a strong, secure password. If you’re storing lots of documents, such as word documents, excel spreadsheets, power-points, etc. You can protect this data thanks to the password protection functions that Microsoft Office provides. This simple measure means that even if someone gets your data out of your online storage, they will have to crack your password in order for them to do anything with it. Check out Microsoft’s guide to password protecting your documents.
The next step you should look at taking is packaging your data into compressed files. While most cloud solutions provide for easy ways to sort and manage your files, It has been demonstrated that these services can be vulnerable. You can fight this by compressing all your files together before they even reach the cloud. Many services like 7-zip, winzip, or other file compression utilities offer encryption for the archive. While this may not be very convenient, as it will require you to unzip and decrypt your files every time you need them, it is an excellent tool for protecting sensitive files, especially when those files aren’t encrypted. Once the .zip or .rar file is encrypted, you can upload it with sound mind.
Now of course, all of these suggestions of password protection and encryption are entirely nullified if you are using a weak password. A weak password is characterized as short, easy to guess, and commonly used. Strong passwords are longer, the more characters in your password, the harder it is to crack. Additionally do not use anything regarding you personal life, and try to use a mix of numbers, letters, special character, and lower and
upper case letters. And of course, never use the same password for too many things. If you need an idea of what a strong password looks like, check out this strong password generator, which creates a random password which can be considered to be strong.
Hopefully these tips help keep your data safe, and help you to rest a bit easier when giving your data to the cloud!