Back in the day (as in 5-6 years ago), we stored all of our necessary files on our hard drive. The hard drive was where we secured all of our important digital information. It was a tangible object we could hold in our hands in the form of a flash drive or internal hard drive inside of your computer. Now, storing your data just got a little more complicated.
Cloud computing is a new way of storing your information. The difference? Instead of downloading your files onto your hard drive, everything is saved over the Internet. This means companies or groups of people can create and share files they all have access to over different computers at the same time! It’s super convenient and super innovative.
However, some are wary of this new way of storing data due to security concerns. Below, we offer 5 ways to protect your computer when using the cloud.
1. Choose a Cloud That is Right for You
When it comes to using the cloud, there are two options. Public cloud and private cloud.
Public cloud hosting is a convenient option for many businesses because it is easy to set up and services will often have the technical components of cloud hosting already in place so you don’t have to worry about it. Additionally, public cloud hosting is cheaper because you don’t have to pay for your own cloud server or pay for a server that has to be replaced. However, since it’s public, businesses should be aware that a public cloud isn’t as secure and hackers can gain access to sensitive data because the cloud is shared with other businesses.
If you’re skeptical of choosing public cloud hosting, you can opt for a private cloud. With private cloud hosting, you can store your data on your own cloud, choose your firewall technology, and have easier access to your information. This option is more secure and will keep you and your client’s sensitive information secure. However, a private cloud can be more expensive and time-consuming to manage because you’ll be in charge of backups, restoring servers, coding, data storage, and email programs.
2. Back Up Your Data
Securing your sensitive data should be your top priority. You don’t want hackers to have access to personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords. To safely secure all of your data, it’s essential to back it up. When it comes to backing up your data and storing it on your devices such as a laptop or computer, the cloud, and an external hard drive will ensure you won’t lose your information if any of the three were to crash. Along with backing up your data, utilizing anti-hacking and anti-virus software on your computer is another way to prevent data breaches.
3. Create Strong Passwords
You’d think by now most people will understand the importance of creating a strong password. Yet, thousands of people still choose simple passwords such as “12345” or “password” as their password! Don’t be lazy when it comes to creating passwords. If you’re worried about forgetting all of your passwords, there are online password wallets where you can securely store your passwords without ever forgetting them. If you don’t want your social media accounts to be hacked either, but can’t think of a strong password, use a password generator to help you out!
4. Encrypt Your Files
Encrypting your files is one of the strongest ways you can secure your information when using the cloud. In a simple context, encrypting places a password on your file, and as you move that file to the cloud, someone will need the password to access it. You may think data encryption can only be done by geniuses. However, you don’t need a background in computer programming or cybersecurity. There are numerous free and easy to use encryption services that will allow you to compress your files, stamp a password on it, and securely send it to trusted people.
5. Strengthen Your WiFi
When you’re at work or home, you’re most likely on a secure WiFi network that safely secures your data. However, if you choose to connect to a public WiFi network at a coffee shop or a mall, you can fall victim to having your information hijacked. When you’re in a public spot, you can protect yourself in the following ways:
- Shut off public network sharing when using public WiFi
- Double check to make sure your Firewall is always enabled
- If you don’t need WiFi in public, shut it off
- Secure your browser
Navigating the cloud shouldn’t cause you to worry. As long as you follow these security measures to protect your computer when using the cloud, you’ll keep all of your information safe and secure.