Development of the Internet contributed to creating a huge virtual world where the security of digital identity is not very stable. Storing data in the cloud brought about a major security issue not only for companies that have to worry about their business data but for individual users whose online identities face different risks as well. Now as cloud computing solutions develop and grow in popularity, security and privacy issues gain in importance. The basics of ensuring they stay in the cloud are the following:
It may appear obvious, but plenty of internet users still don’t know how to choose a good password. Most web applications automatically assess the password strength and recommend using capital letters, symbols and numbers, but some users simply ignore these recommendations. Besides making sure that your password is strong enough, it is equally important that it is regularly changed. This doesn’t mean that you should update your passwords daily and risk forgetting them, but that it is advisable that you change it every now and then.
Majority of online services use the strongest encryption available to protect their users. However, this doesn’t always make your data fully safe, as security breaches are a regular phenomenon even for large cloud providers. If you intend to move some particularly sensitive data to a cloud storage service, you should make sure that your provider uses a stable security standard, preferably 256-bit encryption. Those whose basic criteria for choosing a cloud storage provider should definitively inquire about the services that use client-side encryption model. This way, your data is safe even if your provider’s servers were under threat. With services that use this form of encryption, it is essential that you never lose your password as then there would be no way for you to retrieve your data from a provider.
As an additional step to securing your cloud account, you should make sure you use two-factor authentication for every service that provides it. Some services provide two-step verification option as an additional security layer and this helps to ensure that your accounts won’t be hacked. The provider asks you to provide a phone number to which the service automatically sends a security code that you need to enter every time you log in to your account from a different device. This security layer is provided for Facebook, Google Apps, Dropbox, and many other cloud storage services.
Using different credentials
If you’re using the same username and password on multiple cloud accounts you are making it easier for hackers to break into your computer. Namely, if one of the cloud services you use has a security breach, it is very likely that hackers would use the credential obtained from a single service to access your account on other services. Therefore, you should make sure to regularly change the username-password combination, as this reduces the risk of unauthorized entry. Furthermore, you should use different email addresses whenever possible, as this is another way to improve your online security.