We all like and enjoy the use of cloud-based file-sharing services like DropBox and OneDrive, We save our personal files, work files, pictures, and anything that we can fit in our basic or premium accounts! Something we do not normally consider is if our files are secure? DropBox and OneDrive store the files in an encrypted format so in theory if hackers gain access to their servers the files are rendered useless as they are encrypted. The problem is not if hackers gain access to the hosting servers as they are behind so many security measures which make accessing them very hard – not impossible – but very, very hard. What’s easier to crack and hack is a user’s login. Here’s a scenario, you have a password (using the same password for multiple accounts is highly unrecommended, that’s a discussion for another day) that gets cracked or phished through an email campaign. The hacker gets access to your cloud storage account which you could have critically private and confidential information. The files can be downloaded and used because to those services it’s as if “you” access the account.
There are several encryption tools available in the market to encrypt your cloud storage services so, in situations like what we mentioned above, files are useless if anyone has access to your cloud storage account without access to your computer. Consider Boxcryptor as an example, they offer free accounts which you can tie to a single cloud storage account. You can then encrypt specific folders, or all of them, with your account password (so make it very secure). Let’s say MR. Hacker Scammer gets access to your account online, they will have useless files. Different tiered accounts give you more options such as encrypting the file names too.
Let us practice safe file storage and access. That should be a normal part of our lives because let us face it, hackers will continue to do their thing. We need to do ours by protecting our files.
The goal behind this article is to raise awareness about file encryption and security to ensure your files are safe.