No doubt cloud computing has taken over the traditional methods of information storage. After all, who wouldn’t prefer luxury of minimizing workload with the promise of getting better results in lesser time?
Take photo sharing for instance, earlier you had to select every picture file separately and attach it to your e-mail and the maximum limit was up to only a few MBs, the whole process was so frustrating that most of us preferred not to send them at all but now you can directly save your pictures on a cloud like Google Drive that has unlimited storage capacity and share them with whoever you want with just a simple share of a link and without the pain of selecting every individual picture.
But, is doing so safe? Is your data protected from potential threats? Or are just stepping your foot into a swamp full of hackers? The answer is both yes and no. The cloud system is a reliable one but not completely safe as every great system has one or another loophole, however, these loopholes can be easily closed by taking appropriate preventive steps.
In fact, getting into cloud computing is like baking yourself a treat and making sure that you have your oven mitts on while taking the dish out from the oven; because a) Prevention is always better than cure, and b) its common sense.
So, You want to know how to be secure while Cloud Computing? Let’s take a look at what preventive measures can you take to keep your data safe while cloud computing:
Everybody knows the importance of a password, but how many of us really do put an effort to make it highly secure? Most of the passwords are so poor that they can be cracked within a few guesses. So, how do you make it secure? The best way to do so is to assign a unique password for every service that you use. Even if you want to make things easier by keeping the same password, make sure you add at least one unique character to each of them. For instance, if you choose your password to be say, ‘iamsafenow’, your password for each service might be something like this: ‘iamsafenowatyahoo’ for Yahoo, ‘iamsafenowgmail1’ for Gmail, ‘iamsafenowwithmsn’ for Hotmail. How you want to differentiate each is completely your choice. And, if you do choose to keep completely different, unrelated password for each account, you can manage them with the help of some software or an app from where you can retrieve them in case you forget and keep safe simultaneously. This way, if a bad case scenario of password compromise does occur for one of your accounts, all of your other accounts will be far safe from this threat. Also, learn to keep your secrets; never share your password or information about which service or vendor you use for security with anyone.
Learn To Play With Questions
This advantage is already present in most of the services in the form of ‘Security Questions’, make sure never to skip them. Also, the question you choose should never be the one with an easy-to-guess-answer. The best advice is to answer the question with completely unrelated information than what is asked.
Double Check Security and Authentication Protocols
Every user is required to pass the authentication process before he can get into the system. The first step is by entering the correct password and answer for the security question. Most of the users make the mistake of leaving authentication process at that. However, you can ensure better safety by adding an additional security protocol, such as, a unique code sent to your given mobile number through text or call necessary to complete the log in process. This way, only you have access to your valued credentials and not any unauthorized personnel or hackers.
Pay Attention to the Terms and Conditions
Reading user agreement carefully can put light on to some very essential points that you might miss otherwise. In fact, it can help you a great deal to decide which cloud service you should choose by comparing how different storage services work and carry out their procedures.
Encrypt Your Cloud For Better Security
You will need to put in some efforts to properly encrypt your data but the end result is well worth it. Moreover, many cloud service providers now offer additional services for encryption & decryption of your data and files. Thus, you can relax while your provider would take care of both coding your data & credentials, and keeping them safe once it’s on the cloud with the benefit of ‘zero knowledge privacy’, i.e. no one except you will be able to obtain the store information, not even the service provider itself. In addition, encryptions prevent key-loggers from hacking into your credential passwords and stealing or copying your data.
Remember To Have A Plan B
What plan B here means is that don’t just rely on the virtual systems, keep a back-up of all your data in a physical drive. Most of the people think that having their data on cloud means they never have to worry about having a duplicate copy of their data. However, having a back-up is not only smart but absolutely necessary so that you actually never have to worry about losing your valuable credentials even in case of accidental cloud disruption or data loss. Furthermore, avoid storing sensitive data on cloud as much as possible.
Keep Your System Secure
How do you access your cloud infrastructure? Through your desktop/laptop or your smartphone! Thus, keep your devices secure with the help of antivirus and antispyware to avoid any potential risks, as every single threat to your system is also directed towards your cloud infrastructure.
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