How to Safely Store Your Data in the Cloud

Dec 10, 2021

Does your business store its data on a cloud? The days of USB drives and paper documents seem to be behind us, as most organizations and individuals opt for storage on the cloud. 

 

It’s become a place where data is kept, information is stored, and teams rely on daily. Though you might not have experienced a problem with your cloud before, know that there are still plenty of risks when it comes to cybercriminals stealing the information you store here.

 

So, what can you do? Follow these steps to ensure the information you keep on the cloud is safe and protected.

 

Read the User Agreement

 

Nobody likes taking time to read the fine print, but this task is essential when it comes to something as crucial as your cloud storage. You’ll want to go through the user agreement before deciding which solution is best for your company.

 

See if you can find details on what types of files are allowed, what data they collect, and what would happen to your files should you change platforms. 

 

If you have questions about your cloud service, be sure to send us a message. We’ll help you narrow things down and find a solution that works best for your business.

 

Prioritize Password Strength

 

If all it takes is a simple “ABC123” to get into your cloud storage, hackers are going to have no problem accessing your private information. So when it comes to keeping your data safe, strong passwords are your first line of defense.

 

Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics that make up a strong, effective password [link to the blog on Itechra when published].

 

Complex passwords might be tough to remember, but they’re essential when it comes to cyberthreats. Think about using a password manager such as LastPass if you’re looking for a way to store your passwords.

 

You’ll also want to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) so that even if someone does know your username and password, they still won’t be able to access your data.

 

Focus on Encryption

 

Encryption is one of the best ways you can safeguard your data. When you encrypt a piece of data, you start by attaching a password to said file. Then, when you move it to the cloud, no user will be able to access it without knowing the password.

 

If you trust someone enough to share a file with them, you can simply give them the password. However, this encryption adds an extra layer to your data to keep it safe from cybercriminals.

 

Most data is stored on the cloud without encryption, so you’ll want to be careful about what kinds of information you place here. If it’s sensitive, don’t take the risk. Instead, use a physical storage drive to keep your valuable information private.

 

Back-Up Your Data

 

As it’s always wise to back up the data you store directly on your device or a hard drive, make sure you’re backing up your cloud data as well. Even if you take steps to protect your information, anything can happen when it comes to cybercrime.

 

Keep a copy of your data in a physical storage drive in case you lose access to the cloud. This way, you have peace of mind knowing that you still have what you need if something goes wrong.

 

Pay Attention to Sharing

 

Most cloud storage providers allow you to share the stored information with different users. Make sure you know the nitty-gritty of these permissions before you use them.

 

For example, can the people you share files with remove them or edit them in any way? Are the files public, and can users make them so? 

 

Look into the details of shared access before putting important data on the cloud. If possible, add passwords and expiration dates to what you share, should your cloud solution provide these options.

 

Check Your Connected Apps

 

If you’ve connected your calendar or email apps to the cloud, these platforms can serve as a way for cybercriminals to gain access to your information. Think of them as a secret back door they can use to enter your cloud.

 

Stay on top of which apps and accounts have access to your cloud storage. If there are a handful that aren’t essential, it’s important to remove them. 

 

Manage Your Devices

 

Like the accounts that have access to the cloud, you should also take a look at the devices that can access it. If your team members use the cloud on their personal phones, tablets, etc., it’s best to establish a few rules here.

 

If someone forgets to log out of the cloud and their device ends up in the wrong hands, this could spell disaster for your organization. Manage the devices that have access to the cloud and remove the ones that are a security risk. 

 

Turn On Alerts

 

Many cloud storage solutions allow you to enable alerts should something significant happen to your account. Make sure you turn these on and check in on what’s happening regarding your stored information.

 

Look into subscribing to emails about the cloud, including updates about files that may have been shared or removed.

 

Check Your Account Recovery Options

 

Typically, when you need to recover access to an account, you’ll provide a phone number or email address that you can check to get back into said account. So make sure your cloud recovery options include accounts and numbers you can easily access.

 

If you have security questions as part of your recovery options, be careful about sharing the answers with others. These questions should be tough to guess, rather than containing information that a hacker can find with a quick Google search or a glance at your social media profiles.

 

Cloud storage is an excellent way to store data and information, so long as you’re using the right platform in the right way.

 

If you’re wondering which solution would be best for your business, send us a message today. Our experts know the ins and outs of different cloud options and will help you find one that meets your needs!

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