Image Source: Open Data Space
How secure are your files on the cloud? Ever since you first dialed up to the Internet on your modem, the files and information you kept on your personal computer became a little less secure. These days computing devices are connected to the Internet 24/7, our mail and duplicate copies of the files in our personal computer are kept online, where they can be accessed by our smartphone or tablet.
Recent disclosures that Government agencies may be are spying on anything we keep online may make many of us leery of what we store online. Certainly, most of our data is really boring stuff, which we really do not care whether it gets viewed by others. But we may have some information that we want to keep absolutely confidential. One piece of advice given is to keep this type of information on external drives or flash drives. This solution does mean that this information is not easily accessible, but that includes not being easily accessible to you, too. All of a sudden, keeping a small notebook and pen in the back pocket does not seem like a bad idea (and is in fact how a fair number of people store really confidential information). But have our devices become so capable, that we now have to go back to pen and paper?
There are other options.
One option is to encrypt files you store on the cloud with Boxcryptor. Boxcryptor can protect files stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box, or any other major cloud storage provider. Boxcryptor creates a virtual drive on your computer that allows you to encrypt your files locally before uploading them to your cloud storage provider. You can encrypt individual files or create folders where anything placed in rheme will be encrypted. To protect your files, Boxcryptor uses the AES-256 and RSA encryption algorithms which are approved by the U.S. government to protect “Top Secret” information. I am not sure if being U.S. Government approved is all that good a thing these days.
You can access encrypted files from your Android phone or tablet using the Boxcryptor app, which is free on Google Play.
Another option, which is my preferred option, is to simply obtain secure cloud storage. Open Data Space, provides 2 GB of free storage, with additional storage for sale. ODS utilizes encryption technologies, both on the client and on the server side. The result is that even Open Data Space itself, cannot see your data. Data centers of the Open Data Space are certified by ISO 27001.
Open Data Space was designed for BlackBerry, but it also has an Android app. You can upload and access files through your web browser, and access them from an Android device using the SSP Secure Data Space app on Google Play. This option does not have the convenience of background sync.
For its part, Google is reportedly testing out encrypting Google Drive to try to ensure better privacy.
Despite some risk, cloud storage is the way to go. Hard drives or flash drives with sensitive data can be misplaced or stolen. The cloud on the other hand is secure from these unfortunate occurrences. While no system is 100% secure, using Boxcryptor or Open Data Space, provides a significant layer of additional security.