There is something inherently scary with keeping our most precious files on some server halfway across the world. A few breaches that had people’s private photos spread all over the internet did not help that fear. Even though the technology behind cloud services is sound, human error and negligence are where everything breaks.
Unless you trust your cloud server completely, don’t place private data on it. It is still an excellent way for a business to store information because they would be insured against a mishap. But, for individuals, once your private information, or even worse your delicate private media, hits the net, there is no going back.
That tasteful nude you sent to your significant other will be plastered on the board of some forum forever.
But, there are solutions. You will need some tools, like a good VPN and a password manager, as well as a solid grasp on cyber hygiene and where you can and can’t place personal information. Providers like Le VPN will assist you in the former, but the latter is all on you.
Technology Is Good
We need to state that the technology behind cloud services is not flimsy or unprotected. Servers holding that information are virtually impossible to hack by brute force, and the security protocols used by the reputable services like Google or Dropbox are top-notch.
But, there is an issue. Companies like Google have thousands of employees and probably more than a few 3rd party technicians. Even with thorough security cleanups, there is always a chance that someone will doze off and make a mistake. It is usually found out soon, and not too many people are affected, but you don’t want to be one of those who are.
Finally, the quality of any technology means nothing if your devices are the ones leaking information. Lapses in personal data protection are often the main cause of cloud hacking.
The Risk with Cloud Services
These risks are relatively small, and for the vast majority of the data, we produce the protection on the cloud is more than adequate. Still, they should be stated, and everyone should take up some measures to prevent themselves from being hacked.
The rule of large numbers on the internet means that everything can happen. We need to make sure it doesn’t happen to us.
#1 Password Hacking
This is the most common way for someone’s cloud services to be compromised. It also impacts all other online services and accounts that we have, including banking.
The hack might happen via phishing or direct scams, or by infecting your device. After such phishing attacks were revealed by BNP Paribas Bank, most users rushed to use the VPN France server. But, such an act is best done before the event, not after.
#2 Compromised Servers
It is exceptionally hard to compromise a server once it is well made. There are many redundancies and security protocols that would be remarkable for someone to find a fault that would lead to a significant leak. Also, cloud providers usually give our rewards for those who do, leading to the hacker becoming the security expert.
In most cases, the servers are meant to be compromised from the start. These fake cloud servers are made by crime syndicates with the express desire to steel the information you place on them. And only once you realize your data is being misused, the front will cry how they were hacked.
Because of these types of deceptions, you must always use reputable providers and not doggy online finds with no previous history.
#3 Human Error
If there is a fault with the service provider, in 9 cases out of 10, it will be human error. A technician might forget to reset the master password, or unprotected devices were attached to the closed server circuit.
The error can also be on the user side, where we leave our devices without a VPN and anti-malware software. But, this lapse only affects the user, while the one made by company employees usually impacts whole clusters of data that was under their supervision.
What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves?
Solutions for protecting ourselves from the occasional issues with cloud security can be divided into two sections. First, there are ways to secure our passwords and devices so to prevent hackers and snoopers from accessing our devices and our cloud storage. Then, secondly, we must know which data should not even go near the internet, let alone be stored on the cloud.
For the technical part, the best way to go is to use a VPN router that will not only protect every single device in your home automatically but also your friend’s devices and anyone visiting your home. Combined with a good password manager and anti-virus, this will shield all devices.
Some Things Should Stay Offline
For the non-technical part, you will probably know about which type of data we are talking about. Anything that is for your eyes only and the very select few you know intimately should stay on a flash drive kept disconnected from any device.
Private photos, videos, or journals, all fall into this category. Permanent access to this type of data is not needed, so there is no reason to risk it.
Cloud services are generally safe but can have some issues.
It would help if you only used reputable providers with a long track record. And, you should never forget to protect all of your devices with a premium VPN like Le VPN and a good anti-malware software.
By taking these steps, your data will be protected everywhere.
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