How Safe is Cloud Storage? Tips for Storing Data Securely

How Safe Is Cloud Storage?

Storing data in the cloud is convenient, but is it secure? We review the basics of cloud storage and offer tips for keeping your cloud storage secure.

Storing your information in the cloud is a convenient and easy way to back up your data. It’s a great way to ensure the contents of your phone or other electronics are still available, even if your electronics are damaged. There are several cloud services and tools that are easy to use such as Dropbox, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and more. A common question is, is storing your personal information on one of these cloud services secure? Follow along to learn how the cloud works and for tips on the best ways to store sensitive data.

Is the Cloud Secure?

Hackers can gain access to your personal computer/hard drive easier than a corporation’s cloud service. Often this is done through phishing emails, texts, calls and malware. A great benefit of using a cloud service is they have more security enhancements in place such as encrypting your data (making it unreadable), routinely updating security to avoid data breaches, and testing their service to ensure it’s as secure as it can be. Another perk of storing your information on a corporation’s cloud is that it’s common to have multiple servers with your information. This means if a flood or an unforeseen technical issue destroys a server, there’s a backup copy of your information readily available.

How to Store Sensitive Data

There are two ways you can store your data securely. The first can be done while still using a cloud storage service but taking a precautionary step before uploading your data to the cloud. This can be done by purchasing your own encryption software which you can find for free or low cost. Encrypting your data before you upload it to a cloud ensures that even if someone were to break in and steal your data from the cloud service, your data is still encrypted. When you want to access your data, retrieve the appropriate file(s) from the cloud, and decrypt the data with your software.

If you’re not comfortable storing your sensitive information on a cloud service provider, you may want to consider encrypting and storing your data on a personal hard drive and storing it in a safe place.

Choosing a Cloud Host

It’s important to know who is hosting your data. Sometimes it can be chosen out of convenience. Did you choose Apple’s iCloud because you already have Apple devices, or how about Google Cloud because you use Google products? Whatever cloud platform you go with, make sure you do some research on how they protect your data. It’s important to make sure they keep your data encrypted, provide multiple copies, routinely and effectively test their services, and haven’t had any recent data breaches.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Your biggest advocate for data protection is yourself! Although two-factor authentication can be annoying at first, it’s a great way to protect your cloud data. More and more companies are making it required to use two-factor authentication to log in. You can quickly set this up with your cloud service provider and choose how you would like to be sent your authentication code. This can be done through a simple text, or the most secure way is through an authenticator app.

If you already use an authenticator app then it automatically adds your cloud account to the authenticator app, meaning you don’t have to download anything new. This simply generates a new code every 20 seconds to enter when trying to login to your cloud account to verify it’s you.

The data on your electronic devices is important and should be securely held. Explore your coverage options to protect yourself from identity theft, coverage for lost/damaged devices and other personal items by connecting with your Farm Bureau agent today.