USING CLOUD COMPUTING SECURELY
"Cloud Computing" has been bandied around like some silver bullet that will save you from your computing miseries, but is also associated with security issues and hacking of personal details. What then is "Cloud" Computing" how can I use it in a manner that will assist me and limit the risks involved?
"Cloud Computing" as it is referred to, is the use of the internet to save your files, photos, music, etc for personal or business use. There are applications that are cloud based, in that the program does not reside on your computer but on a server that you access utilising the internet, and there are cloud servers where you can store your data, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Sky Drive.
The WIKIPEDIA definition is "Cloud computing is internet-based computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow the centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources."
Unfortunately, as with your own physical home, when you have valuables or the potential to have valuables, you can be a target to those who want to rip you off. There is no 100% safe on-line solution. However, some cloud servers offer a two-tiered security system. The first level is your password and the second level, a code that you key in and has been text to your phone. This is similar to security that some banks use for on-line banking.
A good, strong password is nevertheless the best way to secure your information. A strong password should have at least fifteen characters, with both uppercase and lowercase letters, has numbers, is very different to your previous passwords (so doesn't follow a pattern), is not a dictionary word or a common name, has keyboard symbols and does not follow a keyboard pattern. There are programs that can generate secure passwords. Here's an example that has been generated: S699B%Twt=94XgB and has been suggested by https://strongpasswordgenerator.com/.
The problem with creating such a secure password is that it is very difficult to remember. So how do you remember a secure password? A simple way to solve this is by writing the password on a piece of paper and keeping this in a safe place, e.g. in your wallet. This keeps your password "off-line".
Another way is to make-up a password from three words and combine them, even all in lowercase, to make a password of 15 letters or more. Although not as secure, it will still take a long time to crack it. Intersperse some symbols and numbers and then it's even stronger, but still relatively easy to remember.
Here's a useful site to try out various types of passwords to see how secure they are: https://howsecureismypassword.net/
Enjoy being creative in devising strong, secure passwords!
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