3 Simple Steps To Stay Safe On The Cloud

As an entrepreneur, you may be trying to decide whether or not to build your business on the cloud.

There are 5 primary reasons why it’s a great idea:

First, you’ll reduce your costs. It’s less expensive to deploy applications on the cloud than through on-site hosting. Your hardware costs are lower and your applications can make better use of system resources.

Second, you bypass constraints of time and space. If you are outsourcing many aspects of your business, people in other countries can access the applications they need to work with through the Internet. Neither location nor time zones slow your business down.

Third, IT experts take care of your technological needs. You will always be using the most up-to-date applications. The cloud provider takes care of all software updates, often improving performance over previous versions based on user feedback. You also don’t have to worry about problems in your hardware. The cloud providers take care of the manpower and costs of hardware replacement.

Fourth, you can select from a wider choice of applications. Software that you have decided to use may not have all the functionality that you had hoped to find. With legacy technology, you would be stuck with your purchase. With the cloud, you have the flexibility to try something else that might work better for you. What’s more, you don’t have to buy the software; you can just pay for what you use. Even better, implementation is faster.

Fifth, you are helping out the environment. Onsite deployment requires much higher energy usage than action on the cloud. Shared resources cut down on energy utilization. You’re not only growing your business, but contributing to the green movement.

Still, despite all these reasons for using the cloud, you may be hesitant, wondering how you can acquire cloud security. You can get security for a public cloud or for a data center with physical, virtual, and private clouds. Security software offers a wide range of security capabilities, including anti-malware, intrusion prevention, host firewall, integrity monitoring, and log inspection.

Although the cloud provider will secure all hardware and software for you, you are still at risk due to careless user behavior.

Phishing for Dollars

One of the biggest threats today is phishing. This is a highly profitable online racket.

Phishing is the criminal practice of tricking users into disclosing personal information. This information is then used to steal from your financial accounts.

Hackers may use the following tactics:

  • ·  Using fake login pages.
  • ·  Sending spammy email links.
  • ·  Providing deceitful online surveys.
  • ·  Making phone calls to users (often pretending to be from a service provider).

Cyber criminals may not always want to steal the money in your financial accounts.

They can also profit by stealing your identity and pretending to be you when hacking into banks and corporate financial accounts.

When trying to steal your identity, they may look for details like

  • ·  Your full name
  • ·  Your nicknames
  • ·  Your favorite colors, pets, cars, movies etc. (These are what you are most likely to use when choosing your security questions.)
  • ·  The last four digits of your credit card
  • ·  Your email addresses.
  • ·  Your phone numbers.

Armed with this information, they may either try to make some educated guesses about your login credentials or try to use it to get access from a service provider by pretending to be you.

Here is what the Federal Trade Commission says about Phishing: “When internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information, it’s called phishing. Don’t reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don’t click on links within them either – even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. It isn’t. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.”

3 Simple Steps to Stay Safe

Here are 3 steps you can take to stay safe on the cloud:

  1. Refresh your credentials periodically.Refresh your username, passwords and security questions and answers every few months.
  2. Use two-step authentication.Many cloud providers give users the option of using two-step authentication. This will prevent hackers from breaking into your account even after they have figured out your username and password. Users have to use a second pin code to log in and get permission to use the account with a new device. Without this piece of information, someone cannot get into your account. People either don’t know about two step authentication or they do know about it but, like wearing a car seat belt, they find it inconvenient to bother. As a result, their information is less secure. When you are setting up your security settings, be sure to enable the two step verification process.
  3. Store sensitive information in a safeDon’t store everything on the cloud. Personal information rarely takes up much space. This means that you can put it on a flash drive and store it in a safe deposit box.

Take Personal Responsibility

Data breaches on the cloud are rare. Often, when they do happen, cloud providers get the blame. But data breaches are frequently the result of employee carelessness rather than loopholes in the technology. Using the three simple steps, your business can enjoy a long, safe and happy life on the cloud.

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