23 March 2017
Using the cloud safely: tips
The cloud is a service for easily storing and managing big data. You save time but it is not without risk. Therefore it is essential to choose your service provider well and to secure the use you make of it. Read our advice.
In a nutshell
- Use a strong password
- Share your info carefully
- Set security options
- Do not forget an anti-virus
What is the cloud?
You will certainly have already heard of the cloud. But do you know what this somewhat ‘hazy‘ term designates? In a nutshell, it is a service which stores and manages data for you. The great advantage is that your data is accessible everywhere, on several types of devices which can be synchronised. It is also easy to share such data. These services are called “cloud” as it is not known where the data is physically stored.
Choose your cloud provider well
There are several providers (Google docs, iCloud, Dropbox, etc.) It is important to choose well as you well entrust your personal details, and possibly even confidential data, to it.
When choosing your provider bear the following in mind:
- Does the service also offer help? You will need answers to your questions in the event of a problem: either by calling your provider or by accessing clear and precise FQs on its website.
- Is the service easy to use? To be able to use the cloud properly you must understand how the service works. To that end, it must be easy. The more complicated the service, the more likely you are to make mistakes and jeopardise your data.
- Is the service safe? Check with your cloud provider which safety rules have been set up.
If you want to use the cloud for professional purposes, first ensure that your company’s safety policy allows you to do this. If it does, check the user rules.
Secure your use of the cloud: 4 tips
Once you have chosen your provider, you can start using the cloud. To protect your data, follow these tips.
1. Use a strong password
This is basic advice, essential to safeguard your personal data. The password you use must be strong, in other words difficult to hack (mix of digits, letters, signs, etc.).
2. Do not share your details with everyone
File sharing via the cloud is very easy. But not without risk. You would certainly not want your files to become public when you thought you were sharing them with one single person? To avoid that, you can take a few precautions:
- Do not share your files systematically and automatically with anyone.
- Only share your files temporarily and with somebody you know.
- Check access rights: once the recipient no longer needs to access your files, cancel their authorisation.
File sharing via a link: easy but not very safe!
All cloud service providers allow the sharing of data via links. This means that anyone with whom you want to share a file will receive a URL. By clicking on it they can access the data. It is very easy but also very unsafe. To avoid problems, it is possible to set up a password to access the data via the link but also a lifetime for the link. Enquire with your supplier.
3. Configure your security parameters
Who can access your data? Who can transfer it to others? Who is allowed to read or rewrite such data? These are essential questions and you must know the answers. To that end, check and configure the cloud security settings.
4. Use an anti-virus for protection
It is essential to protect yourself with an anti-virus, all the more so when you use a cloud service. Ensure that it is activated and up-to-date on all the devices you use to access the cloud.
Check regularly that you are properly protected
Feel free to consult our "Online security" page to check that you have taken all the necessary precautions when surfing the internet, whether via your smartphone, your tablet or your computer.