If you think your identity is safe as you browse the internet and go about your daily life, think again. Identity theft is shockingly common in today’s digital age, with roughly 143 million U.S. adults experiencing an attack in 2017. Many more are likely to be impacted in the near future – particularly those who fail to take basic steps to make their digital personas more secure.
Thankfully, a variety of options are available to reduce the potential for identity theft and improve overall digital security. Some of these approaches – such as cloud-based data storage – attract their fair share of doubt among skeptics, who are worried about hacking and other concerns. However, in reality, cloud storage remains one of the most reliable options for protecting files from hackers and other issues.
Below, we explain why cloud computing is an excellent option for securing information – and how users can harness these tools to minimize the potential for identity theft and data loss. Let’s take a look.
What Role Can Cloud Data Storage Play in Preventing Identity Theft?
When most people picture proactive techniques for preventing identity theft, they imagine extensive password protection or credit monitoring. These are valuable, of course, but the cloud may be the most influential tool in today’s digital arsenal. Most of us take advantage of cloud computing regularly. However, few actually know what it is, how it works, and how it can be used to mitigate the damage caused by today’s savvy attackers.
So, what is cloud computing? At its most basic level, the technical term “cloud” references the use of the internet for storing data and applications – as opposed to traditional hard drives. While many users imagine some netherworld in which cloud-based information leaves our everyday concerns behind, cloud storage actually involves physical premises. However, it differs from on-premise storage because the person using the cloud is typically located far from the actual data center in which the information is stored.
How the cloud looks and functions will depend on whether it is used primarily by an individual consumer or a large enterprise. In a business context, cloud storage may involve the use of advanced IT protocols such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). However, both small businesses and ordinary consumers often rely on third-party providers, which offer a degree of convenience and security rarely available with on-premise storage solutions. Common cloud storage providers include:
- Google Drive Business
- Amazon Cloud Drive
- Apple iCloud
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Samsung Cloud
- Dropbox Business
- Degoo Cloud
Many of these names should already be familiar. Others, while not as recognizable as the biggest cloud companies, provide targeted storage solutions worth examining. Depending on your personal preferences, budget, and security needs, cloud storage and backup can be obtained for a modest monthly or annual fee. In some cases, however, it may be completely free of charge. Storage plan prices may reflect the amount of space needed, as well as the use of advanced encryption tools or other security protocols. Such security measures dramatically reduce the potential for undesired access, thereby minimizing the risk of identity theft.
Is the Cloud a Safe Solution for Storing Sensitive Data?
Unfortunately, a 2017 hacking scandal involving Apple iCloud storage led to a brief drop in public confidence. However, everyday internet users are beginning to realize that the cloud remains the safest and most secure option for storing sensitive data. After all, the cloud itself was not breached during the iCloud scandal. Rather, persistent hackers were ultimately able to guess the passwords of the affected users. With better password security, this scandal could have been avoided altogether. Since then, cloud security has only improved, as evidenced by these key benefits:
- Physical Security – Cloud security goes beyond hacking. Physical security also warrants careful consideration. What if your home or workplace suffers a disaster that is completely out of your control? If your data is exclusively stored on a personal hard drive, it could be lost in the event of a fire, tornado, hurricane, or another catastrophe. Data stored via the cloud, however, enjoy greater protection from the elements.
- Limiting the Potential for Lost Data – The risk of lost data looms large, but rarely attracts as much attention as headline-hitting data breaches. Natural disasters are a significant source of risk, but hard drive failures and other unfortunate circumstances could also throw conventional business data storage solutions into disarray. Luckily, the cloud can dramatically reduce the likelihood of suffering unexpected data loss by keeping a copy of your information in a remote data center.
- Encryption – Many of today’s most notable cloud providers use extensive encryption procedures to keep sensitive data concealed. Some cloud providers even offer the option of end-to-end encryption. This only allows communicating readers – and not third parties – to access the information contained in encrypted messages.
- The Convenience of Cloud Backup – Even if you prefer to maintain on-premises copies of essential files, it’s worth pursuing a reliable backup system to cover your bases long before the worst-case scenario comes into play. Cloud backup amps up data protection without necessitating a considerable investment of time or money. It’s increasingly utilized by organizations looking to control IT security costs – but it’s also worth pursuing on a personal level.
Of course, while the cloud is a valuable option for freeing up hard drive space and addressing security concerns, it alone may not prove sufficient. When in doubt, opt for a comprehensive strategy that includes both cloud storage and an external hard drive.
Cloud usage is on the rise, and with it, the possibility for enhanced security. With the right provider in your corner, you can enjoy a reduced threat of identity theft and valuable protection against the many issues that plague on-premise storage solutions. There’s no need to risk catastrophe with a poorly planned or executed data storage strategy. Given the current prevalence of hacking and identity theft, it’s more important than ever to take action.
NerdsToGo Expert Data Security Services
Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone as you take the necessary steps to secure your digital files and online presence. NerdsToGo is happy to assist you every step of the way. Whether you’re getting ahead of modern threats with managed services or relying on data backup and recovery for damage control, our Nerds are a trusted resource.
Reach out today to learn more about the valuable role we can play in reducing the risk of data loss and identity theft.