Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16/2014 10:13:00 PM

As consumers increasingly use large amounts of memory to store digital images, videos and other records, the "cloud" that acts as much of the location of data storage has become increasingly popular. Recent data breaches by hackers such as the release of personal photos from celebrities have many people wondering whether their files are safe in the cloud. These strategies will help you protect your digital privacy while allowing you the storage space your internet activities require.


Choose a Strong Password

While many experts consider the cloud to be more secure than other forms of digital storage such as flash drives, choosing a secure password assists to deter hackers from gaining access to your data. Each one of your cloud enter points should have its own unique password. If you use the cloud through Google, Amazon and your iPad, you should maintain separate passwords for each. Your passwords should not be obvious such as your street name or child's birthday. Rather, they should be an unusual combination of punctuation, special characters, numbers, upper and lower case letters that only you can remember. Changing your password frequently also helps to maintain your cloud security. Be sure to set all of your files to private rather than shared settings.

Opt for Multi-Factor Identification Processes

These days, logging into your WiFi and accounts with just a password is not sufficient to prevent hackers from gaining access to your files in the cloud. A multi-factor approach to correctly identify that you are the person who should be accessing the data helps to prevent unauthorized access to your information. In most cases, the second form of identification comes in the form of a text sent to your cell phone or email address. You must input both your password and the code in order to gain access to the files stored in the cloud.

Secure Your WiFi Network

According to NetFortris, unsecured WiFi networks are a leading cause of stolen cloud files. Whether you just upload personal photos or you have your business accounts stored in the cloud, securing your WiFi access is essential to your data security. Set an access password for the router. Change the SSID of your WiFi network to something unique, such as "MyH!ghlyPr0tectedWiFy" so that any potential hackers understand that you have secured your information and that the passwords are not left to their default settings. Finally, disable remote logins and wireless administration so that anyone outside of your network cannot gain access to your cloud files.

Encrypt Your Uploads

Begin by using 128-bit encryption or higher WPA for encrypting your uploads. You can opt for stronger encryption keys for particularly sensitive data such as intimate photos or documents that contain financial information. Select a cloud storage provider that does its own encryption as well. Although this may cost you a small monthly or annual fee, it can be well worth the peace of mind knowing that your data is highly protected.