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5 tips for keeping your financial information secure on the cloud

While services such as Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive make it easy for both individuals and businesses to use the cloud to save sensitive banking, credit card, and personal information, they can also leave this important data accessible to other people. If you’re looking to keep financial information secure on the cloud, consider the following tips.

Use a Strong Password
For five years in a row, SplashData, which researches and collects passwords from data breaches, says that “123456” is the most common password. The two other most commonly used passwords in 2015 were “password” and “qwerty.” If any of these is your password, change it right away.

The best passwords combine symbols, numbers, and letters in an unusual order. In fact, the more complex the password is, the harder it is to guess, and the safer your data is. Since a complex password is harder to recall, you can find a safe place to record it if you can’t remember it.

Don’t Reuse Passwords
If someone hacks a website and gets your username and password, will he or she be able to get into your email, bank account, and multiple other websites as well? Once you’ve picked out a strong password, make sure you only use it for one website. This is especially important for websites that store credit card numbers and Social Security numbers.

Limit Wireless Use
While laptops, tablets, and smartphones have made it even easier to conduct business on the go, they also make it easier for lapses in security. Try to avoid conducting business with your financial information over public Wi-Fi so your data isn’t intercepted, and consider not doing banking business on your mobile devices in case they’re ever lost or stolen.

Browse Safely
While it is now common wisdom to avoid suspicious websites and not open unknown links in emails, there are other steps you should take to browse safely when you’re online. If you’re shopping from a retailer you’ve never done business with before, research it before you give it your credit card information. If you find a history of hacking breaches or lax security, it’s better to shop elsewhere.

Additionally, know which computers are saving your username and password, for browsers will often ask whether you want to save your login information. If you’re using your friend’s computer and you accidentally tell the browser to save your login information, it’s probably not an issue. However, if you’re using a public computer and this happens, it could cause serious problems.

Work With a Cloud Security Company
A cloud security company works specifically to keep your data safe on the cloud. It analyzes typical usage patterns so that it can detect malware and anomalies, and it runs audits to help you decide what security practices you should adopt. If there’s a suspected breach, it can force more authentication steps to confirm a user’s identity, and it can lock your account after several unsuccessful login attempts.

With a little extra work on securing sensitive financial information in the cloud, you can enjoy all the benefits this latest technology has to offer.

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