Cloud storage solutions have been gaining rapid popularity among the masses. Not only does the breakthrough technology allow us to store our precious mp3 files and vacation photos on the Internet as a backup but also enable us to access them from any location in the world connected to the Internet.
Though benefits of cloud storage have significantly diminished a user’s dependency on expensive storage drives, its security, however, is a completely different issue. The recent attack on Apple’s iCloud is an indication of the flimsy security measures currently in place to protect data residing on the platform. Keeping in mind the fact that cyber-attacks will continue to evolve over the course of time it is advisable to take appropriate countermeasure to beef up your cloud security so that your private data remains private.
Though there is no such thing as perfect Internet security there are, however, certain measures that can be taken to bolster your defenses against malicious attacks. Here are a few of them:
Frequently Change Passwords
As it always has been our first line of defense against cyber criminals is the password. Choosing passwords out of a dictionary might’ve kept you safe during the infancy of the Internet but that is certainly not the case anymore. Choose a secure password at least 8 characters consisting of alphabets, numbers and special characters. The longer and more complex the password the harder it will be for the intruders to crack.
Services like Dashlane do not only generate complex passwords for you at the click of a button but also give you a master password to access all your other passwords.
Enable Two-Step Authentication
Enabling Two-Step Authentication can significantly boost your password-based security and notify you if unauthorized access is detected. The process consists of a conventional username and password along with a one-time code that is texted or emailed to provide an additional wall of defense. The code is automatically nulled once successful login is detected.
Audit your Devices and Apps
Considering the amount of malicious apps out there that log each and every activity of your device it is vital that you download apps from a trusted location. But that’s not all. Apps need to be monitored for permissions that are given to them to access various features of your phone like microphone, camera roll or the calendar. Similarly several apps can request access to your cloud storage service – iCloud in case of Apple devices – to automatically backup data. Though this sounds like a harmless exercise on the surface it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Automatic backup, as opposed to manual backup, relies on vulnerable security protocols that are easier for hackers to exploit. Moreover, cyber-criminals are always scanning cloud storage services to locate always on cloud service connections – a major reason why iCloud security was compromised in the first place.
Users of cloud services are highly recommended to update their apps. This is one area where automatic settings can prove to be fruitful. Upgrading to newer versions means a more robust security to counter old hacking strategies.