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Cloud Security | How to protect personal and professional data

Cloud security encompasses a set of technologies, policies, controls and services that protect cloud infrastructure, applications and data from external and internal threats. Advancing the digital transformation of organisations requires that information security is safeguarded through the use of cloud-based tools and services. For more effective security, here are some tips for protecting personal and professional data.

How to protect your personal and professional data in the cloud?

Back up your data

When it comes to managing data, it is essential to back up your files. In general, it is a good practice to create copies of data to ensure its availability in case of loss or corruption. Nowadays, you can create cloud storage accounts that can act as a backup through any of the technology service providers on the market. It is considered good practice to manually back up your data to an external physical storage unit, such as an external drive or a flash drive. This solution also makes it possible to access information when an internet connection is not available.

Choose to encrypt your data

By encrypting your data, you prevent attackers from accessing information in the cloud, making it harder to read and adding an extra layer of security, increasing data protection against threats. File encryption seeks to ensure that unauthorised people cannot view the data. It is recommended a complete hard disk encryption, which prevents an attacker from being able to boot the device without a password.

Avoid storing sensitive data in the cloud

Keep only the files you need to access frequently and avoid having documents that contain passwords for various online accounts or personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit card numbers, ID number, personal address, etc. If you need to include this type of information in the files, make sure they are encrypted before uploading.

Consider creating separate user accounts

If your computer is shared with others, you may run the risk of others accessing important information and accidentally or intentionally altering or deleting relevant documents. It is also recommended to create separate users for work and personal purposes. This approach provides some additional protection, however, it does not protect your computer against vulnerabilities that grant administrative privileges to an attacker. Ideally, separate computers should be used for work and personal use.

Use strong passwords

Passwords and other security features, if used properly, add layers of protection to your information. Don’t be predictable when creating passwords. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include numbers and symbols in addition to upper and lower case letters. This also applies to encryption.

Use two-factor authentication

Whenever possible, opt for two-factor authentication. This tool implies that anyone logging into your account will need more information besides your password. Common authentication methods may include answering a secret question or a personal PIN number. You can also opt for an authentication application, such as Google Authenticator.

Use and maintain antivirus, spyware and firewall software

Protect yourself from viruses and spyware that can infect your device, making it easy to steal or modify data, leaving you vulnerable to potential threats. It is also recommended to use Firewalls in order to control and monitor all your network traffic. It is recommended to use legitimate and periodically updated software.

Keep your software up to date

To increase the security of your information, it is essential that you keep your software up to date. These changes relate to the detection of potential threats that needed to be fixed, so notifications to update should not be ignored.

Avoid unused software

Don’t overload your computer with unnecessary software. If you have programs you don’t use, consider uninstalling them. In addition to consuming system resources, these programs may contain vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to access your information.

Follow corporate policies for using and storing work-related information

Organisational policies are designed and established to protect the organisation’s proprietary information and customer data, as well as your personal information.