Guest blog by Victor
Cloud storage is an increasingly-popular solution to storage woes for the computer-savvy. The Cloud offers storage at a very affordable rate, offering gigs of storage that can be easily accessible from any mobile device or any computer. The ease of use and cost of the Cloud storage has never been easier; the Cloud is a viable storage device for even novice computer users!
You may not realize the amount of information that is contained on your Cloud folder. The Cloud is linked to your Google account, and in turn links all the data used on this account. This data includes passwords, credit card information, browsing history, chats, map searches, and possibly even PayPal or bank account information. What happens to your data once you place it in the Cloud? Once you put your data into this mobile server for storage, you no longer have control over your security. How can you protect yourself and your data? There are a few easy steps to protect your data when using the cloud and these steps may be well worth the time required if your account were to be hacked.
Your Google account is very valuable to internet scammers; the information included in your Google account can provide scammers with valuable information to gain trust and communicate with your friends and family. Google accounts often contain calendars, personal information, blogs, pictures, and contact information. By simply hacking your password, a scammer can send emails to all of your friends and family and also steal data including personal information learned through your account. Scammers often use this method to send heartfelt pleas for financial assistance and your well-meaning friends and family are tricked into sending money to the scam artist.
Accounts that share passwords also pose a great harm as the security of those accounts then fall like dominoes. If a hacker is able to access your Google account, then they will likely attempt to access every account linked with your Google account. Although it may be easiest to remember one password for all your accounts these passwords offer little security. Other common password mistakes include creating passwords easy to figure out (name and birthday), using a computer infected with Malware (viruses specially designed to steal password information), Phishing (responding to a website or email that requests your password, appearing to be from a legitimate source), or even choosing a security question answer that is obvious and easy to guess (choosing pizza as your favorite food).
If creating more secure passwords still doesn’t offer enough protection to your data, you may want to consider an encrypting service. Three popular encrypting software services include Boxcryptor, Datalocker, and Cloudfogger. Each of these three programs is designed to protect your data before entering the Cloud. Generally encrypting software such as these are hard disks that can be installed to any directory on your computer. These programs will encrypt your data as the data is sent to the Cloud or other server-based storage, so all information stored there will be encrypted.
The development of encrypting software such as this is relatively new; it may be difficult to find the perfect program that is compatible with your particular platform and mobile device. This software is not free; however, the costs associated may outweigh the possible costs of and account security breech. It is also important to remember that encrypting software will decrease the ease of use of these internet storage solutions as they will require at least one additional step to storage.
With the increasing popularity of Cloud storage, comes increasing security concerns. Protect yourself, and stay one step ahead of would-be scammers. Create secure passwords, don’t share them with anyone, and use a new password for every account. Use an encrypting software program for your most sensitive data. A little extra security will be worth the time and money if your data is ever breached.
About the Author: Victor Daily is a tech blogger and consultant for BrennanIT. His interests span from cloud computing and VPS to gadgets and gaming.