Over the last 10 years, cloud storage platforms such as iCloud, Dropbox, and even Google have continued to soar in popularity. This is in part due to the space it saves on devices and prevents a loss of data in the case of phones or computers being broken or stolen.
However, a big part of it is the security aspect; cloud storage providers have highly secure encrypted servers that make it very difficult, near impossible for hackers to reach, so people feel more secure putting their data in the hands of these trusted companies as opposed to simply leaving it lying around on a hard drive or server that can be accessed by someone who wants to use their data for malicious purposes.
When deciding how to store your company data – especially things like employee files, salary details and other sensitive information – then you need to know that the platform you use is one that’s going to meet your needs now and as you grow.
There are so many platforms out there already that it can be hard to decide which one to go with, so to help you reach a decision easier and quicker, we’re going to list some of the things you should be looking for when considering if cloud data storage is for you, and what features to look out for when selecting a provider.
Make Sure They’re Encrypted
If you use a messaging service such as WhatsApp, you’ll see that it tells you when you first message a new contact that all your conversations are encrypted. What does this actually mean? Basically, it means that nobody can access your files, conversations or any data you share other than you and the person you’re having a conversation with - this includes the people who run WhatsApp (or Meta) themselves.
If you’re ever in doubt about this, don’t be afraid to reach out to the provider before signing up with them as not all providers offer end-to-end encryption, but it’s so important to ensure that all your data stays safe - especially when you’re dealing with the data belonging to others, as this could cost you massively as a business.
Read Those User Agreements
We’ve all seen them, especially the ones from Apple and Google that appear to have you scrolling for a few minutes, and that nobody ever bothers to read, but just clicks accept at the end.
That’s not a smart move, especially when it comes to something as sensitive as securing data. If you wouldn’t sign a contract without reading it in its entirety, then don’t do the same with a user agreement, as effectively they’re contracts between you and the company providing the service.
Just as you would with a contract, you need to know what the provider is offering and what your rights are. You’ll potentially find some clause or waiver in there that will deter you from handing your files and data over to them.
Make Your Passwords Strong And Change Them Often
It’s still quite baffling that, in today’s online-driven world, so many people are using passwords like the word Password. One of the reasons that hackers are able to be so successful in accessing people’s data is to do with people using extremely weak passwords. Your password needs to be strong and cryptic, and preferably updated every 3-6 months. Most logins now require you to enter your password as 8 letters or more, have at least one uppercase and one lowercase letter, as well as a number and a special character – so make the most of that flexibility.
Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
This is one of the easiest ways to ensure your safety online when it comes to securing your data. Each time you or anyone tries to access your account, you’ll receive an alert, usually as a text on your phone or email to check that it’s you trying to access the account. If so, you just approve it and you’re good to go. If not, you know that someone has tried to access your account unsuccessfully and can take steps to prevent that from happening again.
We hope that these tips help you get the best out of whatever cloud storage platform you decide to go with and that when you do sign up for one, you know what steps you need to take to keep all the data you have on there as secure as possible.