Encryption: Does It Really Matter?
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Cloud storage is growing in popularity, and as the demand grows for this service, the demand for security does as well. One of the main concerns home-based users have about cloud storage is security. After all, if you are storing your financial documents, tax returns or even just your family photos, you want to make sure no one can touch them.
Surprisingly, not all home storage vendors provide encryption, which is why as a home user, it is imperative you make sure encryption is one of the main selling points of a provider. Yes, you may want to be able to access your files on the go, share via social media, etc. but if your files are not protected, all other features are useless.
Why Do I Need Encryption?
The reasons why you need encryption are big, after all, you do not skip on securing your home. But, if that is not enough, here are a few other reasons why you need to encrypt your files.
- Files can be Intercepted – Your files that you save to the cloud are considered “data” and any time data is moving, it can be intercepted by another party. When files leave your computer and store to a company’s server, they are being transferred, and during those few seconds of transfer, they could be viewed by someone else.
- Files can be Fabricated or Modified – If someone can see what you are uploading, they can also use that material. Cyber criminals can use your own data against you.
- Security Breaches are Common – Think about the news lately. How many data breaches have you heard about? From Target to major credit card companies, there is definitely a threat. And, if these big companies can have their data stolen, so can your home cloud storage service.
What Encryption Do I Need?
The amount of encryption you need depends on your own personal security wishes, but there is no such thing as too much security. Some encryption features you may want to look for include:
- Encryption Level – Some companies only offer 128-bit encryption, while other companies offer up to 448-bit encryption. The higher the number, the better the encryption. As a gauge, the U.S. government only uses a 256-bit encryption; therefore, if you have something above that, you should be just fine. BackBlaze, for example, offers the highest-level security protocols of all the merchants we review.
- IPsec – An IPsec or Internet Protocol Security is what authenticates and secures your data.
- Reputation – Look at the security history of a particular provider. Check out their reviews and see how reliable their security is. Even companies that claim they offer “bank-level security” may have serious security flaws that puts your data at risk. CrashPlan, for example, has excellent reviews and a reputation for high-level security.
You pay for your cloud storage provider, so why not ensure they are taking the steps to protect your data. By taking your time, researching and reading the reviews, you can ensure your data is not only safe from computer crashes, but hackers too.
Check out more reviews and see who has the best security for your needs by going to our Cloud Backup reviews page.