Cloud computing gives users the ability to store and process data online and sync it to any number of devices, such as other computers or smartphones. Networks of computers may be formed, usually with one or more main servers where information is stored and available to other users in that network. This sharing of information and programs can cause some security problems across the entire cloud. Some of the best tips for cloud computer security are to understand the risks involved, make sure data is safe and virus-free before it is sent through the Internet, and make sure everyone who can access the data is authenticated. Using a reputable company or service that offers updated virus protection and other security measures at all times can also help ensure better information security.
Anything sent through the Internet could be intercepted or lost. Understanding the risks involved with cloud computing can help users decide if each piece of data is worth that risk. Valuable personal information, such as passwords, customer payment information, personal banking information or credit card numbers, is usually far more likely to be stolen than other types of data. It is important to make sure the level of cloud computer security matches the sensitivity of the information that will be sent and stored. People who use cloud email or file storage accounts, for instance, may need only basic security while businesses will probably require several layers of protection.
The most common problems with cloud computer security include hacking, virus infections and networks that are made insecure by too many people having access. Virus and hacking problems can be prevented by both the cloud users and the company that provides the platform. Users and the cloud network owner should make sure they all have up-to-date antivirus protection to prevent file corruption and damage. This type of cloud computer security will help keep most hackers out by preventing the installation of Trojans, which are programs that allow outsiders access into a computer or network.
The likelihood of problems also increases as the number of users goes up, so it generally is best to give access only to those who absolutely need it. Large cloud networks such as those for businesses should probably require periodic password changes for users as well. Personal cloud users, such as those who use online email accounts or online banking, should also change their passwords regularly. It is best to choose passwords that are several characters long, that contain uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols, when possible.
Cloud computer security generally includes antivirus protection, but it also requires some extra steps because of its unique setup and the sometimes massive size of business networks. Data loss can be a problem for some networks that store data such as customer payment information or product inventories, so loss prevention is an important part of security. A business or individual should choose a reputable company or service to help ensure that basic security measures, backups and other protections are in place to help make their information more secure.