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6 Ways to Protect your Information in the Cloud: Don’t Get Hacked!

By now, we’ve all heard of The Fappening, where celebrities have had their pictures stolen from the iCloud. How do you protect your information in the Cloud?

Whether you’re a business looking to make sharing easier amongst your company, or a person who wants to access data from different computers, there are six things that you can do to protect your information in the cloud.

Protect your information in the cloud: Use strong passwords

The iCloud hack is thought to be a brute force hack. This means that the accounts were hacked with a program which continued to guess what the passwords were until the correct one was found. For example, I’m willing to bet that Kim Kardashian’s password was ILUVKIMK. True story…

You can get around this by creating strong passwords. A password generator tool can do this for you. Follow the link for some reviews.

Protect your information in the cloud: Know where the data is

online cloud securityEverything you do online is stored somewhere – emails, photos taken with your smartphone, text messages, and on and on. Each one can be stored in a different place.

Your images may only be on your phone, or they may be in the cloud. Text messages are usually on your phone, but are they also in the cloud? Emails are almost certainly stored in a cloud, not on your computer or in your browser. Understanding your devices is the key takeaway here.

Protect your information in the cloud: Know your access points

You need to limit the number of places from which you access your Cloud data. The best way to protect your cloud information is to give hackers fewer places to infiltrate from. Imagine a castle with only one gate to enter, versus one with five. Which is more secure? (Yes, I’ve been binge watching Game of Thrones.)

For example, restrict your access to your Cloud information to strictly your work laptop. Don’t access it from your family computer, take your work laptop home with you if you must access your cloud information. Use the same smartphone, the same tablet, and try to keep it to that with everyone who has to access your cloud information.

 

Protect your information in the cloud: Use a VPN

Another way that passwords can be stolen is via man in the middle attacks. These attacks see hackers putting themselves between your device and the Internet via a fake wireless access point that you connect to. Typically, they’ll name the hotspot something very similar to a legitimate one. Say you’re in Starbucks and you find one called ‘FREE Starbucks’. Do you know for sure that it was set up by Starbucks? You had better be prepared.

With a VPN you can encrypt your data, like your passwords, and keep them private even if you make the mistake of connecting to a fake WiFi hotspot. See our Top 10 VPNs to find out which provider will work best for you.

Protect your information in the cloud: With two-step authentication

Two-step authentication is becoming more and more popular across the web. It works by connecting your password to your smartphone. You sign in to your cloud account as normal. Then a message is sent to your smartphone with a code in it. You have to enter this unique code to gain access to the account. This will happen either every time you sign in, or just when you sign in for the first time with a new device.

Protect your information in the cloud: Know who your cloud provider is

Dropbox is the most well known name in the cloud provider world. They succeed thanks to their excellent encryption. You need to find out when your provider encrypts data. Is it while the information is being transported, when it is being stored, or both? More encryption is always better!

A big mistake to make is just assuming that the cloud provider you choose knows what they’re doing. Do some research check out their credibility rating amongst the security industry, and know who you’re getting involved with.

 

Feature image via VladFree / Shutterstock

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