10 tips for keeping your information safe in the cloud

Using the cloud to store your data via virtual datacentres is great! You can have lots of space for a cheap price, which you can access virtually anywhere. You don't get issues such as threat of contracting aggressive malware and snooping software etc. However, having an account on the cloud does not mean total safety, and it is easy to forget this. Here are 10 tips to ensure total security, even if our entire data has been put there.

1. Passwords

This should seem obvious, but try and create a unique username and password for every account. At least, create a unique password including various symbols. Cracking a password takes significantly longer where symbols and upper-case are used, compared with a lower-case alternative.

2. Security Questions

Choose a question which isn't obvious, something which can't be found on Facebook for instance. Choose a question and answer it with the answer to another question. So, when they ask “what was your favourite colour,” you can say, “Jones”. That of course isn't my mother's maiden name!

3. Encryption

This is not as easy as the former two suggestions, however encrypting your data can really help. You have to source some encryption software which will turn your data into illegible muddled up code.

4. Password Management Software

Get hold of some password management software such as LastPass . This will look after your myriad of passwords and user-names, so you don't get confused.

5. Double Authentication

Instead of just using a username and password, there may also be a code (perhaps sent to your phone via text). There are many ways of doing this, but it sure does improve security.

6. Backup Your Data

So you've got all your information on the cloud, surely backing it up physically defeats the point? No, if you value your data, it is always best to have it in physical form too. This does not of course render your account obsolete, as you'll still be able to log into your account anywhere you go.

7. Delete Obsolete Data

If you've finished with documents, delete them. Alternatively, back them up on physical hard drives as archives, but don't leave them on your cloud account. If a breach were to occur, you would be giving information to hackers. Financial e-mails for instance should be deleted as soon as they have been read.

8. Take Care On Log In

If you've logged into a public account, make sure you log out. It's common sense, but a mistake easily made. Also, make sure you erase information saved in the cookies of your web browser.

9. Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

Your cloud data may not be on your computer physically, however to get there, you have to use your computer. As such, it is necessary to get decent protective software. Malevolent key logger software may register your passwords and user-names, using them to log in remotely.

10. Be Discreet

Don't share all your information, especially with regards to cloud computing storage. If you want to be extra safe, avoid telling people who your provider is too. Common sense is probably your best protection.

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