Al Gore didn’t invent the internet, but he did create Google’s secret Al-Gore-Rhythm. All jokes aside, ever since Al Gore didn’t invent the internet, network technology accelerated at light speed. We went from 56k dial-up to fiber quicker than the industrial revolution invented cars.

This also means that network security needed to evolve just as fast. At times, it didn’t stay in step with the revolution. The cost of cybercrime rose and everyone freaked out.

This is not an overstatement. Cybercrime cost businesses in the United States over $17 million in the fiscal year 2017.

If you’re jumping onto the cloud bandwagon late (better late than never!), it’s time to make a budget for security and keep your data safe. Here are a few tips.

1. Is [Your Password] Secret? Is it Safe?

Roaming half-hobbits might not be around to steal your passwords (or your rings of power), but cybercriminals might be. The first step in keeping any network secure is creating a strong password.

It’s the end of the second decade of the 21st century and people still use passwords like “123456” or even *gasp* “password.” Don’t be a 21st-century idiot. Create a strong password and be sure anyone with access to your cloud server does the same.

Use an encryption key and make your passwords extremely strong. If you need to remember your password, encrypt something you can remember well. Yes, it takes an extra minute to encrypt the password, but your cloud data will be more secure this way.

Multi-factor Authentication for Added Security

The second bastion of cybersecurity is multi-factor authentication. How does the network know you are you? By something you know and something, you would have on your person and sometimes something that’s a part of your person.

Companies like PayPal and Google and most online banking systems use multi-factor authentication. It’s becoming the bread and butter of cybersecurity.

Your password is the thing you know that you should not have on your person. Your phone is the thing on your person. And your fingerprint is the thing that’s a part of your person.

The most secure cybersecurity would involve all three. But to save time, companies like PayPal have gone to full biometrics thanks to advances in mobile versions of this technology. And be assured, no one is coming for your fingertips. They would need a living finger to unlock your PayPal account.

If your cloud service doesn’t use biometrics, that’s ok. Like most bank accounts, if your service does have two-factor authentication, you will give them your phone number. They will text you a code and you will enter the code to access the cloud.

Often, this happens randomly. Sometimes you will use a password, other times you will use the text system.

2. Backup! We Need Backup!

As my computer engineer friends tell me, there is no way to completely secure your data from catastrophe. Choosing the cloud over physical hard drives won’t save your data in the case of an asteroid strike or a massive solar flare from the sun.  But you can at least backup your cloud data and keep it accessible in case of a network blackout or a smaller disaster.

Backup your cloud data on several physical drives and keep in them in several secure locations. This will ensure that most of the time you’ll have access to your data as long as the world doesn’t end or the entire technological human infrastructure doesn’t collapse.

As you adopt cloud technology, stay wise. Do your research and keep abreast of cybersecurity trends.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.