Having access to all of your data from any location and on any device certainly has its advantages. However, it also leaves the door open for other people to access your files using a device other than the one you're using yourself.
Since cloud storage is now built right into desktop and mobile OSes, everyone is syncing more of their data (pictures, videos, files, passwords, music, etc.) to and from the cloud than ever before.
Having access to all of your data from any location and on any device certainly has its advantages. However, it also leaves the door open for other people to access your files using a device other than the one you're using yourself. The ways in which you can prevent that from occurring are explained below.
In the end, the duty of ensuring the safety of your cloud falls on the cloud storage service that you use. If you are considering using cloud storage for your data storage needs, it is vital that you take precautions to protect your data. These precautions should include the use of strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and access controls and limits.
Here are some tips to secure your cloud storage from cyber-attacks and data breaches.
Make sure you have a robust password set up for your cloud storage account to prevent unauthorised access. Passwords that combine alphanumeric characters with other types of characters (such as ! #, $) are considered to be the most secure. You may make it more difficult to decipher by using both upper and lowercase letters.
Make sure you have a secure password by using one of the many Internet tools designed for this purpose. As an alternative, you can utilise a password manager to have a secure password generated for you.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional safeguard that should be activated when a robust password has been set up.
To access your cloud storage account, an attacker would need to gain access to your device. This is impossible until the device is lost. 2FA apps can generate authentication codes and send them to you via email or text message. If you prefer, you can also opt for two-factor authentication with a physical security key. If your cloud storage service doesn't allow two-factor authentication, you should look elsewhere.
If you use 2FA, even a threat actor who knows your username and password will not be able to access your cloud storage, since you will also need a code sent to your phone.
If hackers are unable to access your accounts directly, they may try to do so using a secondary account that is linked to the cloud storage. Setting up integrations with your calendar and email client, for example, can save time, but they also increase the risk of unauthorised access to your account.
Make sure you're keeping tabs on the apps that have permission to the cloud storage and removing the ones you aren't using on a regular basis.
The majority of cloud storage providers will be able to notify you by email or push notifications of key account actions, such as new sign-ins. It is also important to check that these settings are activated. Depending on the service, you might also sign up for notifications if certain events occur inside your accounts, such as the creation of a new sharing or the deletion of a file or folder.
Checking in on what's been going on in your cloud accounts lately is the bare minimum, and doing so on a frequent basis is highly recommended.
Before you upload your data to the cloud storage provider, you have the option of encrypting it to make it unreadable to anybody except yourself.
It is possible to encrypt your files locally using applications such as Cryptomator and Veracrypt, and then upload the encrypted data when required. This way, even the service that hosts your data in the cloud cannot access them unless they have the master password (or decryption key).
It's certainly great to be able to share files with everyone, from friends and family to co-workers. However, this also opens up the possibility of someone else seeing your data if they come across the links you've shared or hack into the account of someone you've shared files with. Sharing files and folders with anyone is a security risk. So, be smart about who you let in and set a time limit or password on your shares if you can.
Unless the other parties really need to be able to make edits to files, you should make any active shares read-only using the features available in your cloud storage accounts.
Read the services' policies before subscribing to them, no matter how well-known the cloud storage company is. Even though it's likely to be a lengthy process, learning about how a cloud storage service works, where your data is stored, and what data is collected from you will help you feel more at ease.
The following are some of the indicators that can be found in official policies:
Protect the mobile devices, computers, and other gadgets you use to access your cloud storage accounts from prying eyes. If they don't, anyone who gains access to your phone or computer could immediately access one of your accounts. When your phone or computer is lost or stolen, the last thing you want is the thief getting access to all of your private data.
Keeping your files safe in cloud storage requires your vigilant attention to any action that could affect their safety. Maintaining the security of your cloud data is simple, but you shouldn't put all your trust in your cloud service provider. A little effort on your part will go a long way toward preserving the safety of your data.
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