The topic of file security never stops fading as a lot of people deal with a large number of files on the computer every day. Some of them are less important, while the others have more value and you cannot afford to lose them under no circumstances. So what kind of security tools to use in order to ensure the protection of the files? Should this question cover only your computer or also online cloud storage you use? How to make your data safe? In the article below we will give you some tips on how to increase the security of your computer, cloud computing security and how to share files in a safe way.
How to make a computer a secure file storage
Among the various measures for the safe storage and use of information, the first place is occupied by the personal organization of the user and the responsible attitude to the file storage on the computer.
As we all know, in the modern world, all personal documents are stored on a computer. However, documents must be hidden from prying eyes, still, constantly hide the computer in the safe is not logical. Let's look at several ways in order to protect personal data from those who poke their noses into someone else's computer and make your computer a secure file storage:
- Setting a password for the file and setting a password for the archive. The second method is suitable for the files and folders that you will not open for a long time, for instance, backup copies. Setting a password for a file is the most simple and the most understandable way to protect your personal data, as you will not need to study special programs or spend your time figuring out how they work. Of course, one can say that hacking the password on the file will not be difficult for a professional. Well, we are not saying that password is one hundred percent cure, as it will not provide decent protection of personal data that are used in government or commercial institutions. Nevertheless, this method of important data protection is worth keeping in mind, as it can be a good way to be sure that nobody (for example friends, relatives or simplу acquaintance) will erase your data or change it, or steal it. In addition, there are also some other reasons for setting a password for the files.
- If you want to have a better level of data protection, in this case, you need to use data encryption. In simple words, encryption is a complicated algorithm that makes all your data abracadabra to a person without a decryption key. So in case, if someone somehow obtained the access to your files, not knowing a decryption key, a person would see nonsense. Nowadays a lot of computers have such kind of file encryption functionality. On most Windows-based computers, Microsoft's BitLocker software is installed. If you are a Mac user, you have to turn on FileVault feature. All these built-in tools can guarantee encryption on both your local and external drives. But keep in mind, that there are some nuances you need to know, before using these tools, so we would recommend you to read more info about them beforehand. However, if BitLocker is not available on the PC, or you are not fully satisfied with FileVault feature, there are a great number of third-party solutions that can help you to encrypt your entire computer. An additional level of protection you can also reach by encrypting almost all applications, including text files and emails.
How to make a secure cloud file storage
Ok, now when you know how to have your computer under control, let’s talk about cloud computing security. As more and more people trust these services with their sensitive data hoping that they will be secure there. Well, these services, unfortunately, cannot totally protect your files. So here arises the question “What should I do?” To upload or not to upload? It is worth noting that the companies of cloud computing services are not interested in losing their clients and are always trying to improve their security algorithm in order to prevent data from being compromised. So far, there is a variant that can help to secure cloud data, namely, to use third-party apps for accessing, managing and encrypting your online files.
For example, we would recommend you to use CloudMounter. Rather minimalistic, straightforward app, with the help of which you can map most popular cloud storages (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, and way more) as well as remote servers via FTP/FTPS, SFTP connections as though they were your local drives. Thanks to CloudMounter all the data is totally protected, as the app uses the Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key length to convert data into a different form, thus allowing people with the decryption key only to read and manage it. So you can breathe freely, knowing that even if somehow your computer will be stolen, all your sensitive data, stored in the cloud, will not be accessible to the prying eyes. By the way, it is also worth noting that while using CloudMounter you can seamlessly work with all the connected clouds/servers without having to transfer the data to your computer. Try this cloud manager if you want to have an encrypted cloud storage.
How to securely share files with other users
So what happens if you need to send the encrypted file to another user or some number of users? Definitely, some of you would just say to simply send it to the user, what’s the deal here? Well, that’s a good idea, but not always. What if a person you are sending the file doesn’t use the same encrypting program as you do? Or doesn’t have any encrypting software at all? Do you think it would be practical to ask such a user to install the program you are using to read your file? Well, I doubt so...Ok, so what to do?
- When sharing sensitive data with the professionals (lawyers, tax preparer, etc) there should be so called “secure file box” on their sites where you can upload all the important files knowing that they would be safe.
- In case if there is no “secure file box” option, you need to trust your cloud provider with your file security and use file share option. When sharing the files via built-in file share option in the cloud, you are guaranteed that they go over HTTPS which means that other users will not be able to see, remove or edit them.
Well, it all sounds excellent, but you shouldn’t forget one thing that once the file is in the hands of the recipient you lose control over it. Unfortunately, so far this is the truth we need to face with. However, at least from your side, you did everything in order to secure cloud, computer, files and folders. Keep your chin up and we hope this was a rather informative article for you.
Version 3.4.546 (7th Sep, 2018) Release notes