Friday, March 6, 2015

How To Secure Those Files You Are Storing In the Cloud

Storing files in Cloud Services (Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, etc.) is convenient, free and generally safe. You have access to your files from most any device, and across almost all platforms - IOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux. Of course, you do need Internet access and you may have to pay a fee if you require large amounts of storage space.

The biggest concern for many people is security and privacy. Most Cloud Services encrypt your data as it passes from your computer or device to the storage facility (Https). Generally, they also encrypt the data while it is stored. This is probably more than sufficient for most of your files, but there is a flaw. The respective service, (Dropbox for example) holds the encryption key. A rogue employee could, therefore, gain access to you data. It certainly would not be good PR for one of the services, and it may not be likely - but nefarious activities do take place.

So, if you have data that you want to store - for your eyes only, totally private and secure, you will need to encrypt that data prior to syncing it to the Cloud Service. There are many ways to do this, but some methods are tedious and complex. One simple solution (that works across all platforms) is called Boxcryptor. They offer a free version and a paid version that provides additional options. There is also an older version called Boxcryptor Classic that is ideal for most purposes. All versions use, state of the art AES-256, for encryption and the free selection may be all you will ever need.