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Cloud Safety: 5 Things That Should Not Be In Your Cloud

 

The cloud is only a few years old, but it has already changed the way people use computers and mobile devices. There's no longer a need to scramble for a flash drive to transport that important file to work or school—if it's in the cloud, it's available on any device with an Internet connection. And don't worry about your hard drive filling up with movies or music. The cloud has all of the space you'll ever need! Despite these advantages, there are still a number of important things that you should avoid storing in the cloud due to security concerns.

1. Personal Financial Information

It's important to avoid storing your personal financial information (such as tax records, credit card statements, and similar documents) in the cloud for a very specific reason: if someone ever got access to your cloud account, they would essentially have all the info they need to steal your identity in just a matter of hours. Once they find out your account numbers and user login information, they could be logged into your bank account and spending your money in minutes.

2. Personal Business Information

If you're a small business owner, make sure to always avoid storing important work-related information. For the same reasons you would never want to store personal financial information, your business's data is just as vulnerable. As a general rule of thumb, never store anything in the cloud that could potentially harm your business if it fell into the wrong hands. Copies of those flyers that you're designing for your new advertising campaign are okay, but copies of your employee payroll records are not.

3. Medical Information

Avoid storing any type of medical record in the cloud. If your doctor sends you medical records via email, take steps to protect that sensitive information at all costs.

4. Any Information That Can Identify You

If you store your social security card in your wallet, it could potentially be used to steal your identity in the event that you lose your wallet. If you store a digital copy of your social security card in your cloud-based storage drive, the same thing could happen. The only major difference is that you realize very quickly that you've lost your wallet—someone could steal the information from your cloud account without you knowing right away if you ever find out at all.

5. Anything That Shouldn't Be on Digital Record

Keeping your personal information safe in a cloud-based world is tough. You may consider further protection of your digital assets through an identity theft protection program.

As a general rule, never use the cloud to store a digital copy of anything that probably shouldn't exist in the first place. Store private photographs, personal documents, and records locally on a hard drive or on a USB flash drive instead of in a cloud-based locker.

Published Friday, January 30, 2015 6:15 AM by David Marshall
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