Safer Cloud Computing

Aug 22, 2013

By Staff Writer

cloudcomputing.jpgSafer Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is convenient: It stores your data on remote servers so you can access and share the information from any device, at anytime and from anywhere. But it also can present security risks. Take steps to protect the information you store in cyberspace:

Research Trustworthy Cloud Service Providers

  • Search the web for complaints against the company.
  • Review the provider's safety systems and privacy policies.
  • Make sure the provider encrypts your data. Look for the "s" after "http" in the web address to know whether data is encrypted.
  • Look into whether the provider shares your information with third parties. Review the provider's privacy policy—often accessible through a link from the site—to learn more.
  • Check that the provider alerts users to changes made to its policies.

Password Protect Data

  • Create strong passwords. Use at least eight characters, mixing in symbols, numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Create unique login information for each of your online accounts.
  • Change passwords regularly.
  • Never share your account login information.
  • Use two-factor authentication processes when they're offered. These require users to sign in with a username and password plus a verification code that's typically sent via text message or displayed through an application on your device.
  • Keep track of passwords with a password manager. Available as a desktop program or as an app, this tool stores passwords locally and securely, and some even generate unique passwords for you.

Practice Safe Webbing

  • Always back up the data you store in the cloud.
  • Update your operating system and/or web browser often to take advantage of security patches and updates.
  • Invest in anti-virus and malware programs. Keep these updated as well.
  • If possible, customize privacy settings so you control who can view your information and what information they have access to.
  • Restrict the amount of information you share online. Protect personal information by keeping it personal.
  • Avoid directing all password recovery messages to a single address—a practice known as "daisy-chaining." A hacker who gets hold of your email login could gain access to all of your accounts.

Learn more tips for safer computing from the National Cyber Security Alliance, which also sponsors National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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