So you’ve finally made the move and transferred your data to the cloud. No longer are you bound to USB drives, which seem to get lost exactly when you need them. No longer do you have to worry about hard drive crashes wiping out your entire customer database or other important information. And instead of having to go back and forth in collaborative projects with other co-workers, you can make an instant change on Google docs and everybody is updated instantly. Congratulations.
But there’s an important issue to consider: keeping your data safe in the cloud. With your information now stored online, this means that your data faces new security challenges posed by hackers and other unscrupulous persons. Here are four ways to work in a new paradigm and keep your data secure in the cloud:
Upgrade Your Password
One of the best ways to keep your cloud accounts safe is to have a strong password. Weak passwords set by users have been found to be the weak point in many cloud companies security chain, with many users having easily crackable passwords such as “12345” and “password”. By having a strong password that isn’t easily guessable and that contains a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters, it will be much more difficult for would be hackers to gain access to your information.
Back Up Your Data
If something does happen to your cloud data or information, it’s important to have a copy of it backed up in another location. Backing up your data allows you a failsafe if for any reason your cloud account becomes compromised or corrupted. You could chose to manually back up a copy on a physical piece of equipment such as a hard drive or a USB key, or you could back up your information on other cloud based services as well. If you don’t want to manually back up your data, there are many other services that will do it for you on a prescheduled or arranged basis.
Use Services with Encryption
Using services that encrypt your data when being transferred and while in the cloud will also boost your security. Cloud services with local encryption will make it far more difficult that anyone – even service providers or administrators – to have access to your data. This provides an extra level of protection, meaning that even if, for whatever reason, your cloud provider does become compromised, your data cannot be immediately accessed as it must first be decrypted. In addition, you will want a service that not only keeps data encrypted while in the cloud, but also while uploading and downloading to and from the cloud. At the present, one of the best standards for encryption is the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).
Be Careful of Your Online Behaviour
Your online behaviour plays a crucial role in keeping your cloud data secure. Watching what sites you visit, what you download, or over what networks you access the cloud can mean the difference between safety and disaster. For example, using open or unencrypted wireless networks will allow others to easily see and access your information. Forgetting to log off on computers that others may use leaves your cloud accounts open to access by anyone. Opening spam emails that have viruses can also compromise your cloud accounts. Don’t store especially sensitive data in the cloud. No matter how many security measures you put in place, these measures can quickly become undone if you don’t practice smart Internet usage.
Although using the cloud comes with many benefits such as a way to access files and work globally, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. However, there are companies that will help you to navigate the new landscape of cloud computing. If you have any unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for quick assistance to all your cloud computing problems.