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These 8 must-follow tips will keep you safe in the cloud

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With UK organisations rapidly adopting all manner of cloud services, it’s essential to proceed with caution and understand the potential security threats. 

Here, I’ll explain the cloud’s key risks and how to avoid them.

1. Passwords
Nowadays we have to remember numerous passwords for different cloud-based services but keeping them simple, to aid memory re-call, can increase the risk of them being cracked. In fact, easily guessed passwords are the biggest cause of data breaches and compromised accounts. 

 The reason for this is simple: many people choose a poor password and re-use it for all websites. This means that when one is hacked, everything is compromised.

Therefore, so your password isn’t easily guessed, ensure it possesses at least eight characters and numbers – and make it memorable to you. Never store notes of your passwords in low security places, such on email or mobile devices.

2. Logging in 
As a compromised password is the most common way to lose control of a cloud account, it’s important to take every precaution whilst logging in. 

Don’t use public computers or wifi for things you’d rather keep secure. Ensure that your username and password isn’t remembered when using public devices. Many cloud storage providers offer two-factor authentication. Take advantage of this extra layer of security as it could be the barrier between your information and a hacker.

3. Encryption
If you are storing any kind of sensitive data in the cloud, it’s essential that you encrypt it first. This means that even if your cloud service is compromised, any exposed information will be rendered unreadable. 

You can either choose to store your information with a cloud provider than includes encryption in the service, or encrypt it yourself using a 3rd party encryption service such as BoxCryptor. Finally, always ensure that your encryption key is not the same as your access password.

4. General security
Stay smart and on top of your basic security measures so that you aren’t caught out by something easily preventable. Make sure that you maintain your antivirus software, and only download things from trusted sources. 

Extend this to mobile devices as well, so that you keep everything updated with the latest security measures. Also, be aware of false URLs – so ensure that if you click a link, your destination is trusted and has a valid security certificate.

5. Assess the risk
Depending on what you store in your cloud, you should be gauging the level of security that you need. 

Something that contains sensitive information – name, address, banking details or even a social media profile – should be protected properly with encryption. If you are not storing valuable data, you should still take precautions but it’s not always necessary to encrypt or monitor the contents of your account.

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