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Cloud Storage Safety

Cloud storage options simplify data backup by storing and syncing all your files and information into one convenient network. However, just because your information is synced does not mean your information is secure.  Danger of data theft and loss is inherent in the use of cloud storage and computing services, web-based e-mail, social media tools, and even smart phones. Follow these security measures to proactively protect your accounts and preserve your information.

Choose Secure Cloud Providers

  • Research cloud service providers before choosing one. Hackers are most likely to attack the easiest targets, so look for a service provider with a history of stability and impregnable security.
  • Choose a cloud service that offers data encryption during Internet exchanges. For Web apps, these services can be identified by the tag “https” in the browser address bar.
  • Make sure that your service provider offers storage redundancy in multiple locations, so that your files will be secure in the event of a server failure or natural disaster.
  • Do not use hard-drive wiping services. A thief can use your personal information to wipe your device clean.
  • Never give your password to someone claiming to be from your cloud provider’s technical support; legitimate support analysts require only minimal information.

Follow Smart Password Practices

  • Use a password management service to generate and record different passwords for each online account. Applications like RoboForm and LastPass create complex passwords and populate the password field for you each time you log in to frequently visited sites.
  • Write down your passwords on one document, and keep the paper in a safe location. Don’t store your password list in your wallet; if it is stolen, the thief will be able to access your accounts.
  • Change passwords for sensitive accounts often. More tips on password protocol can be found at http://www.ussecurityassociates.com/media-center/usa-resources-guides/resource-guide-sk-strong-password-security.php.

Other Tips

  • Back up your data with several external hard drives in addition to your cloud storage. If your cloud account is hacked, your data will still be intact.
  • Avoid linking your communication accounts together (“daisy chaining”). Applications often request access to other services; if accounts are linked together and one account is hacked, the others could be compromised as well.
  • Always consider the information that each of your accounts contains and the risk to your personal and financial information if the account were hacked. If a hacker could obtain bank account or credit card information from an account, take extra steps to protect it with elaborate passwords and isolate it from linked social media services.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication, which uses a combination of information and assigned devices to grant secure account access. When this feature is activated, services require a second step to verify your identity after you enter your password.

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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