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Analysts in Gartner Inc. predicted in 2012 that there will be a hundred percent shift of data from offline PC to clouds by 2014. While so far it has not proved hundred percent true, we can clearly see that we’re heading in that direction very smoothly. Millions of users worldwide are now subscribing to cloud storage services every year. A study that was conducted in 2017, the cloud storage market is expected to grow double and by 2020, the cloud storage market is expected to grow to more than $65 billion.

Cloud storage services are taking a strong hold on our lives as we find it easier to access our data anywhere anytime instead of carrying portable flash drives or USB around. The cloud has become a place where everyone stores, meets and exchanges information. Due to the allure of convenience that data storage provides, people trust it more and more even with the sensitive information such as our documents from the bank, ID scans, and confidential information.

But are you completely sure that your information is firmly secure and hundred percent safe from malicious hacks?

Cloud Security issues on Global Level

Unfortunately, many high profile companies are finding it hard to protect data on cloud after serious data breaches reported in retails and corporate giants such as Home Depot, Sony Pictures, JP Morgan Chase etc. Business industries across the globe are now investing heavily in data protection. If you think it just happens to giant corporates, then you must think again. Even small businesses and common folks are being exploited by malicious hacks every day. Hence, it’s time to ensure that your data is protected on cloud storage.

Here are five practical tips to help you protect your data on cloud storage:

1. Backup Data locally

It’s always a good idea to take a backup of your important data so that you’ll still be able to access them even when the original data is lost or corrupted. You can back up your data either on reliable cloud storage service or manually backup the data on the external hard drive or device; it would be even better, if you store them in both supports. This will help you access your data even when there is no or poor internet.

2. Avoid storing sensitive information online

There is no such thing as real privacy on the internet. People believe that if the information belongs to them then it’s their property. However, internet- the space where they store the information is not theirs and they or their cloud storage provider may have to give up their information if the government or federal authorities ask for it. To avoid any scenario where complex legalities are involved, it’s always a good thing to keep sensitive information away from the virtual world or use appropriate solutions.

3. Use Services that encrypt your Data before storing them on the Cloud

Encryption is the best way to protect your data. Either you can encrypt your data by using certain software that will create a password for your file before you move the password encrypted file to cloud storage. However, there are still possibilities of data exploitation as professional hackers may be able to discover the password and hack your file.

To avoid that, you can hire highly efficient services like SMiD that can provide security to your cloud –stored data and protect it by providing reliable and unpredictable cryptographic keys to ensure that the information stays always secure. SMiD is an efficient device that provides the functionality of encrypting all the user’s files before uploading them to the cloud. Similarly, it decrypts the file once it gets downloaded from the cloud- that way your information stays for your eyes only. It’s a nightmare for any hacker to hack the SMiD protected files because all the cryptographic keys and cryptographic processes are done inside the physical device. The best thing about SMiD device is always in the user’s possession hence eliminating the need of someone else to manage privacy and security of your information.

4. Protect your data: Use strong password/ two-step verification

A Strong password is your first line of defense against hackers out there. There are several sure-fire ways to make your password strong and hack resistance. Moreover, you can go for two-way authentication for added security to your passwords.

5. Read your Cloud service agreement carefully

Sometimes the cloud services come with a catch that is hidden in the fine prints in their term of services to make it legitimate. Always make sure that whatever cloud service you choose is able to satisfy your security concerns and you can read their user agreement of service before you sign up.

In conclusion, the cloud is an exciting development of this modern digital era that has created novel arrays of opportunities both on business and individual levels. But it has also created new types of challenges in the protection of that information. Thus it is highly important to strike a right balance between data protection and taking advantage of efficiency and opportunities that cloud technology has to offer.

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