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How to Keep Your Cloud Storage Safe – These 10 DIY Tips May Help

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Enterprises insist on keeping data on servers with good reason. Because they loathe the idea of having a person-oriented workplace, preferring instead a process-focused one. When it comes to individuals, this isn’t how things work as data storage serves both professional and personal requirements. Given the vagaries of the hard drives and their penchant for crashing on you, an alternative storage solution becomes valuable. 

Imagine all the stuff that one tends to store on our PCs or laptops these days – from family and event photos to our contact lists, financial planning and investment details, music and movies and much more. Though Covid-19 has reduced the need to travel, which means access to the data is available almost always, an alternative storage that’s safe and perpetual is still needed. 

With the likes of Google Drives, Apple Cloud building personal space that was created by the likes of Dropbox among others, a drag-and-drop of valuable data into a folder resting on some server somewhere has become substantially easier today. However, so has the threat from the cybercriminals who are constantly seeking data that they can sell. At CXOToday, we delved into the data storage challenges and are sharing some simple ways to keep your storage safe. 

  1. Sharing your personal financial data on a cloud is something you need to refrain from if you can. Same goes with documents that contain your access data such as passwords or user IDs, or credit card numbers, bank account details or home address, a copy of the Aadhar Card perhaps or maybe the PAN card. If at all you think this a must, encrypt it. 
  2. The cloud storage platforms do encrypt your data, but we’ve seen that criminals seem to find ways to crack the code. So, it is best you do your own encryption. There is software available for encryption such as Microsoft’s BitLocker. You can check out some more of the same by clicking here. By the way have a unique password while encrypting, which is known only to you and none else. 
  3. Two-factor authentication is the name of the game today. Many cloud storage platforms do offer this system that ensures only authorized persons can log in. Using a second phone to receive the SMS for authentication makes it even safer. Of course, this number should also be unique and not used as a primary contact. 
  4. Anti-virus software is an often misunderstood entity in today’s insecure world. True that criminals often find workarounds, but have it installed nonetheless as often the weakest link in the security chain is your own computer or smartphone from where you log into the cloud. Avoid dangerous web locations that are known to place malware – torrent and porn sites are the biggest culprits. Check this list of best antivirus software for 2020
  5. Using a folder system further adds to the security protocols. Yes, it might make things tough for you, but then isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? The folders can be created based on the file type or its contents. We suggest the latter and once you do so have extra protection on folders as well. Having another two-fold authentication on critical ones can add another safety layer. 
  6. Folder sharing with near and dear ones must be based on a protocol that you need to set up. For example, if there is a folder containing pictures from an event, it must only be shared with those who need to see, not the main folder in which this events folder resides. Remember, even if you are secure, one of your friends or relatives may not be and could end up leaking your data unintentionally.
  7. The most important aspect of cloud storage is the ease of backup and recovery in case of an unforeseen emergency. Here is when you need to review the Terms of Service of the cloud service provider. And make sure to read the fine print as some may not take up responsibility for data compromise. You could check the TOS links of some of the main cloud service providers – DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud

Always remember that it is your data and therefore ultimately your responsibility to ensure that it remains safe from prying eyes. And the ease of retrieving it when you require it the most should be a key factor when you decide to use any of these services. 

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