Dropbox, the cloud-based storage system primarily for consumer use, can add its name to the growing number of high-traffic, well-known websites that's been hacked. For many consumers, Dropbox was their first foray in to cloud-based backups and data storage or data transfer. We're hoping it doesn't sour people to the benefits of the cloud, but, by the same token, it's important to remember a few cloud storage best practices to protect your data.
24 Hour Data offers our tips to protect yourself in the event of a security breech on any website or cloud storage solution.
1. Use a different password for every application. - Yes, it's a hassle to remember dozens of different passwords, but it's the only way you know that someone who gets your Dropbox login won't also be able to access, say, your bank account. If the thought of that many different passwords makes you want to log out permanently, at least use unique passwords for your most important online destinations: credit card websites, bill pay websites, utilities websites, Paypal, your online accounting files, your bank account, mission critical data storage, and all your social media accounts. Essentially, you want a unique password for any site that's linked to a bank account or financial data or tied to your public reputation.
2. Change those passwords frequently. - No one said life online is easy... at least not if you want to keep yourself safe. To protect your data, change passwords frequently and make sure they are strong. Good passwords include a character, a number, a mix of lowercase and capital letters and do not spell a word anyone can read and remember. (In other words, a mix of seemingly random numbers and letters, that can and should make sense to you, so you can remember it.)
3. Make sure your backups have backups. - No data was deleted or corrupted in the Dropbox hack -- but it could have been. If you're using Dropbox, or any other consumer cloud-based service as a backup for your precious family photos or other important files, make sure you have a secondary backup as well. This may be in the form of an external hard drive, a USB drive, another computer in your home, or a set of CD- or DVD-ROMS. Remote back-ups are always handy in the event of a natural disaster.
If you don't have back-ups of the data stored on your home PC, Mac, or mobile device, like an iPhone, iPad, smartphone or tablet? 24 Hour Data is always here to