Tips for Storing Private Data in the Cloud

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Photo: OPOLJA (Shutterstock) – Don’t leave anything online unprotected. Use a second layer of security on everything. The cloud should not be used to store any personal information that should be kept private. Because there’s always the possibility of your internet accounts being breached, it makes sense to save all of your papers and data in a secure location. This is not how the world works today, and if you want to keep your bank data, IDs, and medical papers accessible, you may have to take a calculated risk.

When it comes to cloud storage services, there are many individuals that risk more than they need to in order to save a large amount of sensitive information. If this is the case for you as well, you may want to think about encrypting the information. Some methods for securing your data before uploading them to the internet will be discussed in this article.

Before submitting your files, be sure they are password-protected

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Adding a password to your files is adequate security for the vast majority of users. Apps like 7Zip and Keka, which allow you to compress several files into a single archive and encrypt them with a password, are the most simple method to password-guard your files. If you have a password-protected file, you may access it from any device with the password. If you need to encrypt a large number of files rapidly, this approach is ideal.

Use one program to encrypt all your files if you’re only working with one sort of document. It’s possible to encrypt documents in Microsoft Word by going to the File menu and selecting “Protect document” from the drop-down menu. Encrypting PDF files is as simple as using your chosen PDF program using a comparable way. However, you should take care not to misplace these passwords, which is still another compelling argument in favor of using a password manager.

Using a password manager, you may safely save your data

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

On BitWarden or 1Password’s premium services, you may save up to 1GB of encrypted files. The cost of a password manager service is worth considering as a place to keep critical information. There is no need to keep track of extra passwords for these accounts; all you need is your app’s Master Password. Bitwarden offers this functionality for as little as $10 a year, whereas 1Password charges $30 a year to use it.

Encryption vaults may be created in your cloud storage provider

Screenshot: Microsoft

These two services provide the ability to save your most essential information securely in an encrypted location. Access to these folders will need an extra password or a numeric PIN. The OneDrive Personal Vault is free, but you can only store three files there. Creating archive containing all of the files you want to save will get you past this limitation (and go ahead and protect the .zip file with a password too). On the commercial version of OneDrive, this restriction is eliminated. In order to use Dropbox Vault, you must upgrade to a premium plan.

Make use of your computer’s encryption capabilities by setting up private folders

Screenshot: Pranay Parab

It’s free to build an encrypted folder if you use a cloud storage provider that doesn’t include encryption. On Windows, 7Zip is the best tool for the task. Right-click a file or folder and pick 7-Zip > Add to archive from the context menu. You may input and confirm the password in the Encryption area before pressing the OK button to generate the archive.

It’s also possible to accomplish this for free on your Mac using the Disk Utility tool that comes pre-installed. Disk Utility may be found and launched via Spotlight Search (Command + Spacebar). Afterwards, go to the File menu, then New Image, then Image From Folder in the options list. Encryption may then be selected from the Encryption drop-down option by selecting 256-bit AES from the list. You will be prompted to enter and confirm the password. Please pick Where from the drop-down option after this step if you haven’t already done so. Next, choose Read/Write from the Image Format drop-down menu and click Create.

Creates a disk image (.dmg) file that can be accessed on any Mac (as long as you have the password). Keep in mind that the dmg file is a password-protected duplicate of the original folder, therefore be sure to erase the original folder so that it can be accessed without the password.

Make use of encryption software from a third party

This is the most secure and least convenient technique. Using applications like Cryptomator and Boxcryptor, you may encrypt your computer’s hard drive and access your contents from any computer or mobile device. Both services are compatible with online storage providers including Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and iCloud Drive.

It’s easy to encrypt any folder in your cloud storage services using the program for Cryptomator or Boxcryptor that you installed on your PC. A Google Drive folder with scanned copies of all your ID cards may be added to the app, and the folder will be password-protected.

In order to access this folder from another device (even a smartphone), you must first download the app and then enter the password.

Even though this is the most secure option, you should only use it if you have the time and inclination to fix little problems.. It was difficult to access encrypted files on an iPhone using Apple’s Files app, while Windows functioned more efficiently.