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Online Data Storage: Safety in the Cloud

We’ve all seen the dreaded “storage full” message on our computer or mobile device. There’s a solution to this data dilemma: online data storage—commonly known as “the cloud.” The cloud is a worldwide network of computers that stores data and provides secure, authorized access to that information via the internet. It offers advantages over typical data storage, and with the right provider and security precautions, you benefit from the cloud and keep your information safe.

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

  • Back up documents, photos, music, videos and more.
  • Clear space on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
  • Traveling? Access files from ANY authorized computer or device via the internet.
  • Automatically upload photos and sync files across multiple devices.
  • Share large files, such as videos.
  • Save money over large-scale hardware storage.

Be On Cloud Nine with the Right Provider

Reputable providers, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Apple’s iCloud offer free gigabytes of space but may be worth the monthly fee for added features, such as improved security and data sharing. Consider these factors when selecting a provider:

  • The variety of devices/operating systems you use (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, etc.)
  • The amount of space you need
  • Use of your data, such as working collaboratively on the web
  • The level of security your data requires
  • How much or how little you want to pay

Recent cloud provider reviews: PCMag.com and Consumer Reports.

Cloudy with a Chance of Loss

Experts recommend taking additional security precautions to help keep your data secure:

  • Two-step verification: In addition to a password, a second verification such as an email, text message or even an app on your phone with a constantly-changing “pass-key” helps prevent hackers from accessing your data.
  • Encryption: Consider using additional encryption software such as, VeraCrypt, nCrypted Cloud, File Vault or Bit Locker which makes content unreadable if compromised.
  • Back up critical files locally on your hard drive in case of data loss.
  • Delete unnecessary emails and files that contain personal information.
  • Create complex passwords.   

Learn more about Passwords: The Stronger the Better.

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