Is Your Data Safe in The Cloud?

By  //  August 22, 2021

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Finding storage space is a common challenge that people have to deal with, and this includes electronic storage. In today’s modern world, many of us struggle with finding places to keep documents, photos, and other files without cluttering up the computer’s hard drive.

This is why millions of people have chosen to store their data in the Cloud. Is the Cloud safe for storing important files, or is it susceptible to hackers and other threats? We will be discussing this in the article below.  

What is the Cloud?

When people say that they are using the Cloud to store files, they are referring to servers that they can access via the internet. There are data centers all over the world that contain these servers, meaning that you can retrieve or view your files from nearly everywhere. 

Cloud storage is beneficial for workplaces because employees have access to the same documents for better collaboration. It also allows employees to work on a file from home and then pick up where they left off when they return to their office computer. People also enjoy using the Cloud for personal reasons, often using it for the storage of documents, photos and videos. 

Cloud Safety Concerns

Some people worry that hackers can use their private files against them or that the information can be found by third parties, such as a public data check company. Large data breaks do occasionally happen, and the victims must quickly minimize the damage. 

Corporations face the risk of having their Cloud data infiltrated and stolen by former employees. If they still have the passwords saved on their devices, or if someone shared files with them, they can log in and download confidential information. At that point, they can use it to get back at the company either through blackmail or leaking the information to the public. 

Another concern with Cloud safety relates to privacy. If a government organization has reason to believe that your Cloud information can help them track down a terrorist or to protect public safety, they can request access to it. In this case, it is up to the Cloud provider to deny or agree to share the data. Often, the provider will agree to give up at least a partial amount of the information. 

What Protection Does the Cloud Have?

All documents stored on the Cloud have a form of complex encryption as a means of protection. The hacker would need to break through the encryption before they could see any data, which is very difficult to do. For most Cloud services, the company holds the encryption key themselves rather than giving it out to the users.  

Cloud security includes a variety of different protection methods in addition to the encryption of files. This includes firewalls, virtual private networks, and penetration testing. The firewalls work to block traffic that it deems to be unsafe. This includes hackers who are attempting to break into the platform, as well as viruses. 

A virtual private network (VPN) is an encrypted virtual connection that helps transmit data safely between authorized sources, typically from the internet to a phone or computer. It stops hackers from intercepting the data on the way to its destination, which is the user’s device. 

Penetration testing is a simulated version of a cyber-attack. By conducting this assessment, testers can see firsthand what the weaknesses of the system are, and where they can better improve protection. 

Ways to Keep Your Cloud Data Safe

One way to keep your data extra safe is by encrypting it before you upload it to the Cloud. This way, it will have two barriers to encryption keeping it protected. This will reduce the chance of hackers obtaining the information, as they will have to get past multiple security precautions. 

When you are aware that an employee is soon going to leave your business, you should act quickly to remove any access privileges that they had. As soon as you can, wipe their computers, and remove them from shared Cloud folders. If they knew any company passwords, you should change these immediately. 

Another safety precaution is to use strong passwords for your Cloud accounts. You will want to make them as difficult to guess as possible, so do not include any personal information as your password. Include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. This password should be unique and not the same one that you use for all your accounts. 

Connecting to public WIFI is not a good idea, especially if you are logging into your Cloud account to work on files. The public network is accessible by numerous other people, some of which may have nefarious motivations in mind. A hacker will be able to intercept your data and potentially try to access your files in the Cloud. Avoid this by only working at home, at the office, or somewhere with a trustworthy, private network.    

When you upload data to a Cloud platform, there is always a small risk of losing files. This can happen if there is a glitch in their sync system or if the software were to crash. To avoid losing data, you should have your files saved in more than one location. This could take the form of a secondary Cloud platform or an external hard drive.

With an external hard drive, it will remain separate from your primary computer, keeping it as safe as possible from hackers. Save yourself the headache of lost files by regularly backing up to a secondary source, perhaps weekly or monthly.  

How Safe is the Cloud?

Storing your data online does come with a risk that someone will eventually expose or hack it. Overall, though, using the Cloud to store your data is much safer than keeping it on your computer’s hard drive.

If your home computer were to get hacked, there is little protecting your data from hackers. Your files would be vulnerable to cyber attacks, which could potentially steal your files or lock you out completely. 

The Cloud is a very useful tool that you can use for either business or personal use. Take your time to research the best Cloud service for your purposes. Make sure that they take good care of your data and have strong safety precautions in place before you start uploading your data onto their servers.