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5 tips to keep your data secure on the cloud

Victoria Ivey | Dec. 17, 2013
How can you be sure the information you store on the cloud is safe? The short answer is you can't. However, you can take some protective measures. Here are five data privacy protection tips to help you tackle the issue of cloud privacy.

Here are five data privacy protection tips to help you tackle the issue of cloud privacy:

1. Avoid storing sensitive information in the cloud.
Many recommendations across the 'Net sound like this: "Don't keep your information on the cloud." Fair enough, but it's the same as if you asked, "How not to get my house burned down?" and the answer would be, "Do not have a house." The logic is solid, but a better way to translate such advice is, "avoid storing sensitive information on the cloud." So if you have a choice you should opt for keeping your crucial information away from virtual world or use appropriate solutions.

2. Read the user agreement to find out how your cloud service storage works.
If you are not sure what cloud storage to choose or if you have any questions as for how that or another cloud service works you can read the user agreement of the service you are planning to sign up for. There is no doubt it's hard and boring but you really need to face those text volumes. The document which traditionally suffers from insufficient attention may contain essential information you are looking for.

3. Be serious about passwords.
You must have heard this warning a hundred times already, but yet most people do not follow it. Did you know that 90 percent of all passwords can be cracked within seconds? Indeed, a great part of all the sad stories about someone's account getting broken is caused by an easy-to-create-and-remember password. Moreover, doubling your email password for other services you use (your Facebook account, your cloud storage account) is a real trap as all your login information and forgotten passwords always arrive to your email.

Here is an efficient method of creating a secure password:

1. Choose a random word (preferably a long one) — for example, "communication."

2. Now let's say you are signing up for Gmail. What you should do is add a "Gmail" word to the word you have chosen. Thus your password for Gmail will be "communicationGmail." If you sign up for Skype, your password will be "communicationSkype", for example.

Therefore, you need to remember only your "core" word and the structure of your password. To strengthen it even more you can add a certain number before the name of the service, for example your birth date. In that case your password will look like "communication12111975Skype", etc.

You can invent any other way of memorizing your passwords, the one that appeals to you. But the main point doesn't change - such a method is really simple and effective.

4. Encrypt.
Encryption is, so far, the best way you can protect your data. Generally encryption works as follows: You have a file you want to move to a cloud, you use certain software with which you create a password for that file, you move that password-protected file to the cloud and no one is ever able to see the content of the file not knowing the password.

 

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