Many companies and individuals are now moving more of their sensitive personal or business data into the cloud as a means of giving them greater flexibility in dealing with that information, but in doing so are also putting themselves at risk.
While the move to the cloud continues largely unabated, there are many risks associated with it, according to a report from CNN
. The most important is that there is a greater danger that users' information could be exposed in hacking attacks. As such, they will need to do everything in their power to increase protections above and beyond what their cloud storage providers give them.
That should include backing up everything stored on the cloud, both there - in a wholly separate directory - and on physical computers, the report said. Security experts generally agree that the more places data is backed up, the more assurance users have that they will always be able to access it.
Further, it's vitally important that passwords not be shared across a number of accounts, and be extremely difficult to decipher, the report said. The best passwords are those that are completely random assortments of numbers, letters and symbols, and it may be helpful to rely on services that create multiple passwords for users.
Along similar lines, cloud users should try to avoid linking accounts whenever possible, because as with using the same password across multiple services, when one falls, they all become susceptible, the report said. For instance, linking Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts to one another and other sites can be convenient in some cases, but also create an elaborate house of cards, so to speak, that makes it far easier for hackers to topple.
Finally, it is important to use as many levels of authentication as are available from service providers or websites, the report said. This will help to make sure the only person who can access critical data is authorized to do so. The best authentication techniques require you to both know something (such as a password or bit of private personal information) and have something (such as a phone). Eduard Goodman
, the chief privacy officer for Identity Theft
911, writes regularly on his blog about the many privacy challenges organizations and consumers face on a daily basis.
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