Cloud Security, part 2: Your Computer/Device

There is no good answer to how to Live on The Cloud and protect your information. You are trusting that the companies storing your data won’t have a security breach or a change of heart that means all your stuff is out there for whoever wants it bad enough.

However, there are a few easy links in the data chain to strengthen. The first is generally the least protected because it is only one person’s responsibility: yours. Yes, I’m talking about securing the devices you use to connect to the internet. This could be your computer, your smartphone, or anybody else’s computer you log on to to check your email or whatever.

Your Computer
Dude, you totally need to password protect that shit, right now. Whether it’s securely in your home or especially if it’s a laptop you take with you, the most basic baseline of security is to use your operating system’s profile system to create a login with a secure password.

Your Smartphone/Tablet
Password it up and set it to expire after no more than 5-minutes (mine is set for 1). If you accidentally leave your handy little device someplace that someone else can handily pick it up in the 5-minutes it takes you to notice, your stuff will be compromised.

Computers That Aren’t Yours
Be really careful with these. I no longer use them at all if I can help it. Even if the device belongs to someone that you know and trust, that doesn’t mean that you know or can trust that they haven’t accidentally downloaded some keylogger or something that will store and steal your passwords and report them back to some pirate database a month from now. This stuff does happen. And public computers? If you use them, be sure to log out of any online accounts, delete the cookies, trash the browser history, and close the browser itself before you’re done.