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How to Keep Your Business Data Safe While On the Cloud

If you’re going to be traveling for business, it’s very likely that you’ll be dealing with some company data stored on the cloud, such as through iCloud or Dropbox. Recent developments have shown that these cloud services certainly aren’t safe: several celebrities have had photographs of themselves released that they swear they had deleted off of their cloud server many years ago. With that in mind, you should know how to protect yourself.

Turn Off Automatic Syncing

Many phones and other devices automatically sync their files to a backup location. Common cloud services include iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive. When your files are synced to a third location, they can be vulnerable to intrusion. iCloud, in particular, recently patched out an exploit that allowed people to continuously guess at a password (called a “brute force” tactic) until they got in. Some phones will even automatically upload to social media accounts like Instagram and Facebook. Make sure that all automatic uploads are turned off, or you won’t have control over what is uploaded and when.

Encrypt Everything

Confidential data should always be encrypted before being uploaded. Simply putting documents in a password protected, encrypted .ZIP file will be far more secure than just uploading it to Dropbox or another server. If you’re not up to date on current encryption standards, there are also cloud services that automatically encrypt documents as they are uploaded. For your account itself, you should change your password often and you should keep lengthy passwords that are difficult to guess.

Only Use Secured WiFi

Do not connect to WiFi signals that aren’t secured. You can tell when a WiFi signal is secured because it will ask for a password. If you connect to free WiFi in a park or cafe, you never know where the Internet access is actually coming from. Anyone could be providing that signal. As your data is transmitted–which includes your login information to the accounts that you log into–it can be scanned and saved by anyone. Likewise, you shouldn’t go into a public place and use WiFi information that is posted in the public; it could have been posted by identity thieves.

Of course, everything stated above also applies to your own personal data at home. Don’t forget that personal data can easily be used to steal your identity or even for the purposes of blackmail. Anything that is uploaded to the Internet, whether it be through your computer or your phone, can automatically represent a security vulnerability.

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