Using cloud storage for files, photos and information is becoming the norm, as platforms and services make claims to be safe and secure, enabling users to store any type of document in their system. But as subscribers, it’s important to realize that data breaches happen and providers often have access to stored information.
Therefore, its critical to know what kind of data isn’t actually safe in the cloud.
Pirated or Illegal Content
Just because your documents, music or photos are stored on a local device and in the cloud, doesn’t mean it isn’t traceable. Pirated content includes music downloaded but not paid for, as well as anything taken without permission.
Illegal content ranges from violent images or videos to child pornography. Stored data can even be subjected to search and seizure by the government. The US government can subpoena any cloud storage provider forcing them to give the government access to subscriber’s content.
Yes, it is important to keep track of passwords somewhere. After all, the normal computer user has a variety of different passwords for a variety of different services.
Any information that’s considered to be confidential should be kept out of the cloud. Although cloud services have security measures, they are vulnerable to a breach as much as any other industry, leaving customers vulnerable to identity theft.
Medical records and tax information are just a few examples for sensitive data not meant for cloud storage. A good rule of thumb is that is a file contains your birthday, social security number or passport number; it should not be kept in the cloud.
Critical Business Information
Its not always a data breach that leads to cloud storage issues. Sometimes, cloud services go down for a length of time leaving subscribers without access to documents. Any data that is crucial for the day-to-day running of a business, should be kept in a place where it can be accessed no matter what.
Keeping data in the cloud comes with the risk of inaccessibility and consequentially losing business. Examples of this type of information includes daily standards operating procedures and process information for completing tasks.
Personal Photos or Videos
Proper caution when it comes to the cloud could save a lot of time and frustration if a data breach, hacking or system error ever happens. Senior vice-president of data risk management for the company Identity Theft 911, made the statement about using the cloud:
“Companies that are using, or are planning on using the cloud, need to understand that they can transfer information [to the cloud], but they can’t transfer the responsibility of protecting that information.”
The unpredictability of who has access to any given cloud account means that personal photos or videos, that you wouldn’t want the public to see, shouldn’t be located in the cloud. Just as sensitive information could get leaked and used in an identity theft case, personal photos or videos could damage your reputation if they were ever to make it from cloud storage to the Internet.
Can you think of any other types of files that would be better off existing outside the cloud?
Also, how do you protect sensitive data that’s gotten stored in the cloud? Feel free to share any tips and tricks in the comments section below.