Companies of different sizes and types use cloud services for a wide variety of needs. As a result, there are some significant concerns about cloud security. We can see two major categories: the protection provided by the cloud service provider and the security of customers of these services. Responsibility is bilateral: the provider is required to ensure that its infrastructure is secure and that customer data is secured, and the customer is required to have robust access protocols and passwords. Cloud storage security involves both prevention methods and best practices as well as hardware and software encryption.
Tips to Keep Your Cloud Storage Safe and Secure
The most important part of having your data stored in the cloud is to make sure you have an active internet connection. The higher the speed, the faster your information will flow to data servers across the world. While the responsibility of protecting this data is swinging more towards the provider side, this does not mean that there isn’t anything you can do on your part. Today we’re going to talk about proven methods on how to ensure cloud security.
1. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
While it might not come as a surprise for most, creating hard-to-guess passwords and intricate authentication methods can make a huge difference when it comes to the safety of your products. But, of course, if you don’t have the inspiration for a strong password, you can always rely on a password manager that will generate an almost impossible to hack string of numbers, letters, and symbols.
Two-Factor Authentication comes as a Plan B to having a robust password. The way it works is that when you’re logging in from an unknown device, you will need a unique code that can either be sent to you via SMS or can be displayed using an app on the phone. This application would usually work offline and will generate codes automatically every minute. Almost every provider will ask you to use this feature as it’s so beneficial and secure.
2. Avoid Storing Mission-Critical Information
The next step in securing your cloud information is ensuring that critical information is not stored in the cloud. This would include essential documents, log-in credentials for other accounts, compromising photos and videos, and anything that you might consider important. Account hijacking is one of the most common things that can happen with you online, and when there isn’t anything valuable to steal, you’re already steps ahead.
3. Clear Out Your 'Deleted' Files
Many service providers will let you get away with your mistakes by allowing users to see their deleted files in a special section. Here, you can choose to delete them forever or restore them. Many hackers would rely on this feature to gain valuable data from you and use it to their advantage. Make sure to permanently delete your files or even altogether disable the ‘Deleted Files’ section if it’s allowed.
4. Have a Backup of Your Cloud Data
While it might sound counter-intuitive at first, having your data stored in other places will help tremendously during specific situations. Many providers might close their doors unexpectedly, you might forget to pay for your plan, and your account will get deactivated or any random scenario that might keep you away from your files.
This is the reason why you never put your eggs in one basket, even when it comes to your data. There are many ways to go about this, some people might want to store information exclusively online while others prefer old-school physical storage methods.
5. Turn on Account Alerts
Do you know what’s worse than having your files compromised? Not being aware of it. In most cases of account breaching, when users have accounts alerts active, they are able to stop the attackers from getting any piece of it thanks to how efficient they work. In addition, many services will offer the possibility of even receiving text messages besides emails when somebody else has accessed your account. They might even provide you with their IP Address and location in specific scenarios.
6. Deactivate Old Devices That Still Have Access
Whenever you get a new phone or tablet, you might be inclined never to open it again or throw it away. Any computing device out there that has your data on it can potentially lead to losing all of it in a matter of minutes. This is why, whenever you are switching devices, you must never forget to reset the old ones and delete everything. Many specialists recommend not throwing away devices in the garbage bin or somewhere where unauthorized people could pick them up.
7. Enable Account Recovery Options
Let’s be honest, you can’t learn how to strengthen cloud security when you don’t have access to your account anymore. This is why we must ensure that even if you forget the password or if it’s changed by someone else, you can still gain access to your account in a timely manner. This means that you can activate either Security Questions or an alternate email address to facilitate being able to restore your account when facing issues.
8. Sign Out When You're Not Using Your Accounts
The most common thing you can do to endanger your online files is to leave your phone, tablet, or computer open. Through various methods, hackers can gain access to your computer and if you are signed in to important websites, you might want to think twice before leaving them open like that. We strongly suggest you log out after every session and even advocate not leaving the autofill option on for your browser.
9. Protect Your Devices, Too
Even with all the security measures in place, we cannot rely on cloud security protocols to protect us. If you want to keep safe from all potential threats, you must also make sure that your devices are protected too. There are multiple security solutions for every platform, such as applications on your phone and computer that will scan for malware and other breaches.
Protecting your devices does not always mean installing a tool, but keeping them updated too. You always want to be on the latest stable version of whichever operating system you are using.
10. Read the Policies of Your Cloud Storage Provider
Before enrolling in transferring your data to the big cloud, you should keep an eye out for the terms and conditions your provider has. These can be very important and can save you a lot of time and work. For example, certain ones might restrict the upload of very specific data which can get your account disabled. Make sure to read the guidelines before you subscribe for a lifetime subscription.
11. Encrypt Your Data Before Uploading
If you want to add a second layer of privacy to your files, you always have the option of encrypting them. What this does is to make sure that only you are able to open the content, using special algorithms and passwords that can even be stored as decryption files. There are multiple solutions in the form of applications that can help you ease this process through their many features. Some of them even feature a cloud encryption function that automatically does the process for you.