Safety Precautions for Using Cloud Storage

July 7, 2015  |  Guest Writers, Techie

[Disclaimer: Content Provided by Guest Writer from SocialMonsters]

Cloud data storage and computing services have the potential to increase productivity exponentially for many people, but this fledgling technology does still have some risks. Data breaches can happen to anyone, and they do—Experian reports that nearly half of all organizations have suffered a data security incident within the last year.

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Protecting your data means using the cloud cautiously and safely. Here’s a look at what you can do to ensure your personal or business data stays secure.

Select a Reliable Provider

The explosion in interest in cloud data storage and computing means that the industry is flush with service providers of various qualities. When choosing a provider, it is important that you ask questions to see which providers live up to your requirements. Find out about the types of customer support that a provider offers its subscribers. Are representatives available to discuss issues 24/7, or will you be limited to your own troubleshooting using an FAQ section within a forum?

Additionally, ask about your potential provider’s data access policy. Specifically, who do they allow to access your data? Don’t assume that you will be the only one who can tap into your stored data. In many cases, your provider’s employees or even third-party partners may have access to your data for a variety of reasons.

Finally, be sure to ask about what security measures a provider takes to ensure your data is protected, both while it is stored and transmitted. It’s easy to forget that your data can be compromised en route to the server as well as while it is being stored. Find out how a potential cloud data storage provider handles encryption in both situations.

Take Precautions

Once you’re confident with the cloud provider you’ve selected, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself on your end.

No company can guarantee your data’s security with 100 percent certainty, which is why if you store sensitive information in the cloud, it’s critical you protect your identity with a service like LifeLock. Cybercrime is a serious matter; the Identity Theft Resource Center reports that there is a new victim of identity theft every three seconds, and that seven percent of Americans over the age of 16 will be the victim of identity theft at some point.

Pick strong passwords for your services and be sure not to reuse them, since a hacker who gets access to your email by cracking your cloud password could use that information to access other accounts with sensitive personal or business-related information.

Finally, there’s always the risk that something could happen to your cloud service’s servers that has nothing to do with hackers. An earthquake, a flood, or any other type of unpredictable event could lead to your data storage service’s servers being damaged and your data being lost. Make local backups of your most important files and data. Unexpected losses can occur, and it is your responsibility to have a backup ready in the unfortunate event that one does occur.

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I am a Kuwaiti Apple and gadget girl freak, who gets bored of her blog layouts so much that I change them like I crazy. Currently I work in a newspaper and if you don't see me around I'm being sucked into my job reviewing TV Shows and APPS! This is my space where I vent and release everything, welcome to it.