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The first thing you must do when using a cloud service is to choose a distinct password for it
By: Donald Meyer
Oct. 4, 2016 03:30 PM
Today nearly all of us have our information stored on the cloud. It's a very easy solution that allows users to seamlessly create back-ups of photos, contacts and other personal information, giving users access to their accounts anywhere from any device. Perhaps its most prized feature is that it has no storage limits, unlike mobile devices and PCs.
There is, however, a downside to cloud services. Although it is useful in storing data, it could be the reason data is lost. Recently, the celebrity iCloud hack went to trial. The hacker admitted he acquired the credentials by spear phishing his victims and once he had them, all the data they stored on the cloud, whether intentionally or not, was exposed and later posted online.
Many users are not aware of the different risks involved in using the cloud. It's easy to forget that it syncs automatically, storing data that was not intended to be uploaded and accumulating over time. Another side effect due to its remote nature is many users do not feel compelled to protect their cloud accounts as they do their computers and mobile devices, leaving themselves vulnerable.
Users should follow several guidelines to stay safe, while benefiting from the cloud's capabilities. Some of these are simple best practices that should be implemented regardless, such as being wary of phishing attacks and not sharing your passwords. Below is some advice on how to actively protect yourself when using the cloud.
Use a different password for your cloud service
Each year, millions of users' credentials are stolen from websites. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is limit the potential damage from such a breach by using a different password for each of your accounts.
In fact, this type of attack was already used to target iCloud users in the past. In 2015, attackers used credentials leaked from various website breaches, such as the eBay breach, to log into iCloud accounts. Once inside, the attackers locked users' iPhones and iPads, demanding ransom in return for releasing them. For the attackers, this was easy money.
Use Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
This is not to say that using two factor authentication on its own is enough to keep you safe. Unfortunately, malware writers have already managed to bypass even this security method. However, it is a good start, and the 2FA technology rapid development will protect users even further in the future.
Control what you are uploading
Stay away from dangerous hotspots
Enjoy the cloud, but be careful
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