Best Practices Involving Encryption and Cloud File Storage

Millions of users keep their private data backed up in the cloud. File storage websites such as DropBox or Google Drive are some of the most secure solutions available to consumers today. These sites are especially handy when users need to keep all of their critical data in one central location. While these cloud storage websites offer multi-level authentication and SSL encryption technology, keeping your data safe is largely in your hands because these types of providers can not protect your data once it has left their cloud. Encrypting your files before they are uploaded into the cloud is the best method of defending your data in case of an access breach.

Some experts are concerned about the methods that DropBox uses when data is moved into a user’s DropBox folder. DropBox automatically opens the file once it is uploaded and this has many analysts concerned about data security. The analysts are mainly concerned about a thumbnail or a snapshot of sensitive information being available in some way, shape, or form. Even though DropBox is one of the most secure solutions available to consumers and businesses, many analysts are wary of the copy even being made in the first place because it represents another point of attack. DropBox insists that this feature exists in order to generate previews of files that users have moved to their DropBox folder. Perhaps in the future, there will be a method to turn this feature off.
Hardening your file security with some sort of encryption before documents are uploaded into the cloud is the single best practice your can incorporate into your routine in order to ensure your data will not be useful if it were to get into the hands of hackers. There are several free software suites that will encrypt your files for you. GNU Privacy Guard, TrueCrypt and AxCrypt are a few popular choices.