If you’re using any kind of cloud application (and these days, who isn’t?), you are right to be concerned about data privacy and security. The company hosting your data is ultimately responsible for keeping hackers out of THEIR network, but most cloud breaches are due to USER ERROR.

So, it’s important that you, the user, are being smart about security. Here are six tips you can easily do to improve security in the cloud:

1. Keep A Local Backup Of Your Data

It’s important to ensure that you have local backups of any data you store in the cloud, just in case the cloud version gets corrupted or deleted accidentally.

You can either back them up in some other cloud storage or manually backup to a local external storage device. Local backups also allow you to access the data in times of poor or no internet connectivity.

2. Avoid Storing Sensitive Information

There is no such thing as true privacy on the internet, and the increase in the number of identity thefts should prove it. So, we highly recommend you avoid storing information such as passwords, credit/debit card details etc. on the cloud.

Sensitive information may also include intellectual property such as patents and copyrights. Even if you take every possible precaution to protect the cloud data, the info can end up in another individual’s or company’s data management system, which in turn can lead to potential data loss. You’ve probably had this happen and didn’t even realize it. You know you put that document in the folder, but it’s not there anymore.

You’ve probably heard the saying “To error is human, to really screw up takes a computer!”

3. Only Use Cloud Services That Will Encrypt Your Data

Only use cloud storage services that will encrypt your data AND allow you to locally encrypt your data before you upload your files onto the cloud. There are many third-party encryption tools that will apply passwords and encryption to files once you are done editing them so that they are encrypted before uploading.

This doubles the security on the files and protects your data even from the cloud service provider and their staff. Taking preventive measures like these will make your most sensitive information very secure.

4. Install A Quality Security Solution

Even if you have taken all the above security measures, the problem could be with the system you have logged in from. Hackers can access your cloud account if there is not adequate protection in place on your computers.

So, what good does it do to protect your data in the cloud if you’re not protecting your computers in your office with a multi-faceted quality security solution?

5. Use Strong Passwords

We’ve said this over and over and over again. It is very important to use strong passwords to prevent your files (and computers) from being hacked.

If you aren’t sure how to create strong passwords, PLEASE call me at 636-542-8652.

Apart from creating a strong and unique password, it is also important to change them occasionally, and not share them with anyone. Many login pages offer two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) that will use a third-party tool or sends a code to your mobile phone before you can login to your account. This really helps keep hacker out of your accounts.

6. Test the Security Measures in Place

Instead of assuming that all of your files are properly secured in the cloud, and locally, you should have us, HBBTech, assess your current security measures.

We deal with these concerns every day. Our mission is to protect small businesses just like yours from employee errors, hackers and cyber crooks.

So, What’s The Bottom Line?

Adopting a few security measures, like those above, can go a long way in maintaining safe data on and off the cloud. After all, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

Support all your security efforts by installing a powerful security solution like HBBTech’s multi-layer cyber security protection on all your computers.

If you want help in figuring out if you’re adequately protected, call us at 636-542-8653, or take your chances.

That’s it for Tip #18

Next week’s Tip will be “The #1 Threat To Your Security Is…”

Remember – It ain’t personal...  it's just business.         ‘Til next time.