Let’s talk about cloud storage. Did you know, if you own a smartphone, tablet or PC, chances are you have access to cloud storage?
Cloud storage is a great way to keep your photos, videos and documents safe, whilst freeing up space on your device. Your stuff is saved, not in your device’s storage, but in a huge secure system somewhere that’s maintained and looked after by someone else. Some services charge a monthly fee for looking after your selfies and holiday snaps in their cloud storage, but you can find plenty of free alternatives too.
Think of having a rucksack full of books. Each book represents a folder full of photos. When your rucksack gets full, you’d have to buy a bigger rucksack or get rid of some of your books somehow. Now, think of the cloud as a library. When you save your photos in the cloud, it’s like returning a book to the library. Your rucksack gets lighter, and you’ve got the knowledge that at night, there’s a guard patrolling the shelves to keep your books safe.
It’s interesting to note, that a huge percentage of big companies use and trust these kinds of systems with all kinds of private information, and actually, since 2009 the use of cloud storage across the globe hasn’t stopped growing.
Here are some of the key benefits of cloud storage:
- If you drop your phone into a cup of tea, you won’t lose any photos you had saved
- You can access your stuff from anywhere, at any time, across all your devices
- You can set your photos to automatically save to your cloud storage, so it’s effortless
- It’s not just for photos – save work documents, videos and music too
But, how safe is it really to keep everything stored in the cloud?
Most services like Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud are protected by multiple levels of security, including something called ‘encryption’. This means a would-be-hacker would need a lot of tools and a ton of time to access your stuff. It can be done, but it takes an awful lot of effort. It’s much easier for them to try and “guess” your personal password, than crack into the cloud itself. Think of how much easier it would be for a thief to steal your library card than to physically break into the locked-down library.
So, what can you do to make sure everything is safe and sound?
The first thing you need to do is set up a super-secure password for your cloud storage accounts. The government Cyber Aware website recommends you use three random words for your password. You can always add numbers and symbols if you like, but to keep it simple and secure, use three random words. Our example would be:
It’s also important not to include any personal information in your password. Stay clear of pet’s names, your place of birth, your date of birth, or even something related to your favourite sports team.
The second thing you can do is not ignore the notifications that let you know your apps can be updated. Software updates often have vital security upgrades, so it’s well worth waiting a few moments to get everything up to speed.
So, there you have it. Everything you could possibly need to know about secure storage in the cloud. For more information on staying safe online, visit Cyber Aware.