Cloud storage allows you to access files and data across multiple devices throughout your home, office, school, and on-the-go. Gone are the days when you had to save all of your work to a disc or external hard drive to transfer it to another device. Thanks to cloud technology it is now possible to flawlessly access your files, photos, and contacts from all of your internet-connected devices.
Unfortunately, the convenience of new technology often comes with security risks. After all, if you can access your files on any device, what stops hackers from gaining access as well? If your files are not stored locally, what happens if you lose access to the Cloud? At American National Bank we place the utmost importance on securing our customers’ financial data. We hope this information on cloud storage will help our community safeguard their personal and business information as well.
What can you store in the Cloud?
Cloud storage is a convenient and affordable way to easily access many of your files online. The best files to store in the Cloud contain no personal information and are not vital to your small business operations. Cloud storage is great for files such as:
- Webpage hosting
- Group projects
What should you not store in the Cloud?
The biggest concern of cloud technology is the security of your files. Unless you are implementing steps to encrypt your data, a break in the Cloud’s security could allow hackers to view your files. If a hacker takes control of your cloud storage provider, you risk losing access to the files you have uploaded. For these reasons, we do not recommend storing the following types of files in the cloud:
- Scans of passports and social security cards
- Medical records, prescriptions and x-rays
- Tax documents
- Intellectual property
- Data vital to your everyday operations
How to choose a cloud storage provider
With so many cloud services to choose from like Google Drive, Box, IDrive, Dropbox, and SpiderOak, it may be hard to pick the right service for your personal or small business needs. Review the terms of service for each provider and consider the following.
How much data am I planning to store? Some services have data limits or tiered pricing depending on your storage needs.
Does my data need to be encrypted? For personal use you may not need to worry about encryption, while business data should be encrypted during upload, download, and storage.
Who will I want to share access with? Determine which providers allow group access to documents or even public viewing of your data if that is something you need.
Final Tips for Cloud Storage
Not all data is appropriate for cloud-based storage. For sensitive documents, create a physical backup plan in which you update an external hard drive regularly. Store backups in a secure, off-site location, preferably in a fire-proof lockbox. Even personal files and photos that you store in the cloud should have a physical backup in case something goes wrong. By exercising reasonable caution when using cloud storage, you can reap the benefits of this convenient technology while minimizing your security risk.