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cloud servicesConsider this -- one-fifth of all the malware that has ever existed was created in 2013. Worse, the rate of new malware development has only grown, meaning that it is more important than ever to protect yourself while using the Internet.

As cloud computing services become more and more available, cloud based networks are growing in popularity thanks to their ease of access and ability to store anything and everything. To protect yourself when using cloud services, follow these simple tips.

1. Be one with the clouds
First and foremost, make sure you understand the what cloud providers do. In simple terms, the cloud is an application that allows you to store files from anywhere and everywhere. Since it doesn't exist via a physical device, you can use any tablet, smartphone, or computer to access your files. Most individuals choose to use the cloud because of its storage capacity and its ease of access. However, these cloud services aren't always the most secure, which is why you should be vigilant whenever you upload information.

2. Do your research
As mentioned before, there are plenty of cloud computing solutions available to use. However, it is important to do your research so you know exactly what you are signing up for. Does your cloud automatically encrypt your files? Do they provide information to the government if requested? Do they own their servers or do they rent from another company? While some users may choose a lapse in security for convenience, make sure you are fully knowledgeable before you sign up.

3. Use secure passwords
While this may seem obvious, it is often overlooked. Make sure your passwords for each cloud application differ and be sure to include a special character, an upper case letter, and a number. The best passwords are almost impossible to guess, and most importantly, make sure they go through a two-step verification system in case they are guessed incorrectly.

4. Encrypt your files
If you are not specifically using an application that encrypts your files, you should consider doing them yourself. This way, you will have another added level of protection in case a hacker gains access to your information.

There is no such thing as too much protection when it comes to using your cloud services online. If you have any questions or are concerned about your security online, contact our IT services professionals today.

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