Cloud storage is undoubtedly one of the dominating online trends of the past 4 years. Work has become more mobile and on multiple devices, so the need for an appropriate storage option was quite obvious.
Accessing important files and documents needs to be easy and location-flexible, that’s why online storing makes more sense than having and external hard drive with you all the time. Cloud storage enables you to access your data from any PC or device, by simply logging into your account. Folder sync is also another important option that simplifies your entire activity. Almost every cloud storage service uses folder sync, so you can set up your backup on any device you use. Just a simple drag and drop into your synced folder means that your file is saved to your account and available for any device you use.
There are plenty of good cloud storage options to choose from, each with its own benefits. Here are some suggestions:
Cloud storage is better than hard drive storage in almost every way. The only concern should be about the price, because it can be more expensive. As the number of stored files grows, so does the price. But the constant backups, and the flexibility for sharing and editing, make it worth it.
There have been some debates about cloud security along the years, and a few myths emerged:
The cloud is not secure. All the cyberattacks that happen every day are proof of that.
More breaches happen in the cloud.
Cloud security is difficult to maintain.
There are many other myths that have been busted along the years. Arguing about cloud security is almost the same as arguing about banks. You could keep your savings in your mattress, rather than in a bank. That doesn’t mean it’s safer, nor would your data be safer on your personal storage devices. Everything is connected at some point. The important thing to understand is that cloud storage companies take huge efforts to secure their environments. The average user could never reach such a level of security.
The truth is that there is no such thing as complete security, but there are some measures that will help keep your data safe.
1. Don’t store sensitive information in the cloud
There will always be some concerns regarding online privacy. Use encrypting if you want to upload sensitive information, but it’s recommended that you keep important passwords or PINs somewhere out of online reach.
2. Set periodical physical backups
You could use a cloud account just for backup purposes, but you should also plan periodical physical backups, in case something should happen to your cloud data. Always take into consideration the worst-case scenario, and come up with a plan B. Use an external storage device to manually backup the most important data from time to time.
3. Choose your passwords wisely
We have all read at least a few the-most-common-passwords articles. Security professionals keep warning us, and yet we keep ignoring them. Reports have shown that about 90% of passwords can be cracked in a matter of seconds. Choose uncommon strong passwords that have relevance only to you, and don’t use the same password for every account. A good technique to make them easier to remember is to insert a word relevant to each account at the same spot. Example: %2015uncommon.skype, %2015uncommon.gmail, %2015uncommon.linkedin.
4. Encrypt you data
So far, one of the best ways to protect your data is to encrypt it, before putting it on the cloud. There are plenty of cloud services that provide encryption tools, but be prepared to encrypt either way. Even if the cloud service you are opting for is encrypted, one extra layer of security can’t hurt.
5. Pick the best cloud option
This is an important decision, so you need to take your time, and choose the best option possible. First you need to find out more about the services and pricing. In some cases syncing or editing and sharing might be more important than live backup. It depends on your needs. Next step is to check the security of the service. Take a close look at the security measures. A top cloud provider’s measures should include firewalls, anti-virus detection, multifactor user authentication and data encryption, plus routine security audits. Your security investigation should conclude with the provider’s disclosure of the location where your data will be stored. After finding out what happens in the unfortunate event of data loss, you should get references from some of their clients. After all, they are your most honest performance indicators.
After all this, using cloud storage might seem like more of a hassle than an improvement to your productivity. Once you get past those first security steps, everything becomes easy. Data security has now become more important than ever, simply because the damage can be significant even with a minor slip. It’s better to be safe than sorry.