Guest blog: Staying Safe in the Cloud by Robert Reeve

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Cloud computing has become a big part of life, with most of us using the cloud in one way or another during our daily tasks. Although newspapers are often full of warnings about the dangers of using the cloud, you can eliminate these risks and use the cloud safely.

Check out the following tips to ensure your data is safe in the cloud.

Get Serious about Passwords

It might sound like the most obvious of advice, but you’d be surprised to know how many people still don’t take picking passwords seriously. In fact, Info Security magazine noted a while back that around 90% of all passwords could be hacked in a matter of seconds.

Make sure to create a unique password and make it as long as possible. Change it regularly and if possible, utilise extra authentication systems to access your data in the cloud.

Use an Encryption Service

There are cloud services that provide you local encryption and decryption of your files and if you can, opt to use these services. This adds an extra layer of security to your files.

Alternatively, you can encrypt your own files prior to storing them in the cloud. The easiest way to do this is by using compression tools that allow you to protect your files with a password.

Don’t Store Sensitive Information

In today’s digitalised world, it’s almost impossible to completely avoid storing important files and information online. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think what you store and where.

Try to avoid adding user information, especially regarding the system you are using, in the cloud. If you have sensitive information you must store, remember to encrypt the information and have it separated across different platforms if you can.

Keep Multiple Copies of Your Data

The great thing about digital files is that you can have several copies without a huge extra cost. It is important to have at least two copies of your data and to store them in different cloud spaces.

Sometimes the cloud service you use may provide you an extra backup, but you also want to make sure to have your own backup available.

Use a Secure Connection

When you are accessing your data in the cloud, you want to do so through a secure connection. Try to stay clear from dodgy websites and if you are using WiFi in a public space, make sure you know who is providing it. Good hotspot providers such as Purple WiFi may provide content filtering to protect their customers from inappropriate content.

Although most public WiFi hotspots are safe to use, it is worth trying to avoid looking at any sensitive data or entering passwords for your bank account, for instance, just in case there is a vulnerability.

Make Sure You Understand the Terms of the Cloud Service

You wouldn’t just hand out your personal data to a random person on the street, so you shouldn’t do it online either. It is important to understand the cloud service you are using and what the responsibilities of the service are.

When you are starting to use a cloud service make sure to read the terms and conditions. It isn’t the most exciting thing to do, but it can save you from a lot of trouble.

Cloud computing is a wonderful way to store data, but only when you also take care of the security issues. Whether you are using the cloud for personal or business use, the above simple tips will provide you with more peace of mind. 

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