Security using Cloud based technology

I wanted to document some of the information that I have used in my work and found on the InterWeb about cloud based computing and data security.  I had a lengthy discussion about this topic with my life partner this past weekend so here are some thoughts on these topics.

Secure your data

It is not rocket science to say that you need to back up your critical files on a computer.  How do you do it securely and consistently.  the best way to do it is the easiest way to do it, use Google Drive. Since April of 2013 Google has been encrypting data in the cloud on the Google drive by default.  Even if you feel that this is not enough is leaving your computer sitting in your house without a password to lock it more secure?  even if you have a password on it when it is stolen your password can easily be removed and all of your data retrieved from your computer.  When thieves gain access to your home and take a computer they do not want the computer they want the identity data on the computer.

Identity theft is more valuable to home breaking thieves now days than home electronics.  if you want to secure your data on a  computer consider doing the following:

  1. Put a BIOS password on your computer so that when it is powered on you have to enter a password.
    • Here is how to do it.
    • Here is one way to bypass this option.
  2. Encrypt your entire hoard drive.
  3. Put all of your critical data on a cloud service.
    • Google Drive
    • Sky Drive (Microsoft)
    • iCloud (Apple)

It does not matter which service you use, just make sure it is encrypted.  If the service is not encrypted consider getting software that you can run locally on your computer that will encrypt your data when it is copied to the cloud service.

Secure your daily computing

Once you have your data physically secure how do you secure it from cyber attackers?  One way is to take away your administrative access.  Most of the damage that can happen to your computer is done by using your administrative access that allows programs that you authorize or that gain authorization while you are using your computer with elevated permissions.
In order to reduce giving programs elevated permissions with or without your knowledge consider the following:
  1. Create a normal user account without administrative rights to your computer for your use.
  2. do not allow anyone to sue your computer without a separate account.
  3. Only use the Administrative account for installing software that you have verified that the publisher is legitimate.
  4. Be suspicions of all free software.  Do not install search tool bars on your browsers.  do not install free screen savers or other desktop enhancements.  these programs for the most part are spy ware and will slow down your computer.

Spring cleaning

Once a year back up all of your data.  If all of your data is in the cloud then this will be easy.  Reformat your hard drive update the BIOS software and all device drivers and re-install your operating system.  Re-install your your software and you will e on your wan to another year of clean fast computing.