The Dangers of Keeping Personal Files in the Cloud
We’re becoming increasingly reliant on online storages as they let us access, edit, and share files from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection. It’s just so convenient to keep your ID scans at hand, isn’t it?
However, although these online storage services can be super useful, they also present a risk to your digital security. You shouldn’t be surprised if someone withdraws funds from your bank account using information stolen from the sensitive files you keep in the cloud.
But this doesn’t mean you need to abandon your Google Drive. Here’s what you can do to protect your files in the cloud.
How can you help Google protect your data?
Google goes the extra mile to protect your files. Unfortunately, so do cybercriminals when it comes to accessing them. That’s why there’s no 100% secure cloud storage, and breaches do happen. But you can’t lay the responsibility for security on Google alone; there are things you can (and should) do to protect your files.
First of all, avoid storing your ID scans and other highly sensitive data in the cloud. That’s the best way to secure it. And follow these tips to protect the rest of your files.
Use social media wisely
Adding your phone number or other personal details to your Facebook profile seems to be an innocuous thing to do. But knowing your phone number, birth date, and your mother’s maiden name makes it far easier for a hacker to access your Google storage.
Google usually asks for these details when you hit the Forgot the Password button. That’s why you should always be careful with what you share on social media, avoid befriending strangers, and regularly check your security settings - they tend to change from time to time.
Be serious about your password
“Who cares about my Facebook messages or emails?” is what most of us think when we create an easy-to-remember password, then re-use it for up to 20 online accounts. But when you set an easy password, you do half of the fraudster’s job. You need to create a bullet-proof combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to prevent this from happening. Check out the 5 ways to make your passwords strong and easy to remember.
Don’t ignore authentication options
Take advantage of two-factor authentication (2FA). This means in addition to entering the password, you’ll also have to provide the digits from an SMS Google sent you or additionally use your fingerprint. Yes, it sounds like overkill, but 2FA makes it at least twice as hard for hackers to access your files even if they somehow learn your password. Seriously, it’s so easy to turn on 2FA too.
Be careful with public networks
While the greatest advantage of cloud storages is the ability to access files anywhere, avoid using Google Drive via public networks. The data they transfer is at a higher risk. This means when you’re uploading, downloading, sharing, or accessing your data, it’s sent from the Google Drive servers to your device. And if the network is insecure, a fraudster can intercept it.
Pay attention to notifications
Our inboxes are regularly bombarded with numerous notifications, the majority of which are ads. With so many messages, something critical may slip through. For example, an email or an SMS saying that someone is trying to access your Google account. Never neglect such notifications - always act immediately if you receive one. Changing your password will help you avoid an unpleasant outcome.
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Hackers are skilled in what they do and can usually go past many security layers. So, instead of fully relying on Google, you can help it secure your information by using social media wisely, creating a bulletproof password, taking advantage of 2FA, staying away from public Wi-Fi, and taking immediate action when you suspect something fishy is going on with your account.
Though these actions are easy to perform, they can help you ward off the catastrophe of having your personal information stolen. So keep calm and stay safe out there. And for more protection, check out Clario.
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