If you’re using any kind of cloud application — and these days, who isn’t? — you’re right to be concerned about data privacy and security. Though the company hosting your data is ultimately responsible for keeping hackers out of its own network, most cloud breaches are due to user error. So it’s important that you, the user, are being smart about security.
Here are three things you can easily do to improve security in the cloud.
Maintain a strong password of at least eight characters.Include uppercase and lowercase letters, plus numbers and symbols. Do NOT make it easy, such as “Password123!” While that technically meets the requirements, a hacker could easily crack it.
Make sure the device you’re using to access the application is secure.You need professional help to install and maintain a strong firewall and antivirus and spam-filtering software. And don’t access your cloud application with a device you also use to check social media sites and free email accounts like Hotmail.
“Reverse-backup” your data.If the data in a cloud application is important, make sure you’re downloading it from the application and backing it up in another safe and secure location. That way, if your account is hacked or the data is corrupted, you have a copy.
Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.