One of the most common questions surrounding online backup solutions is just how secure they are.
After all, if you’re worried about protecting your photos, videos and other documents, it does seem rather illogical to send them off across the internet to be stored in an unknown location.
It’s also one of the most common arguments used by people who don’t regularly back up their computer – quite simply they feel unsafe exposing their sensitive files to the vagaries of the internet.
However the truth is that all the major online backup providers use a variety of strategies to help protect your backed-up files from prying eyes and keep them safe and secure at all times. They know just as well as you do how important the security of your files really is.
However among these various security factors, the one which has the largest impact is known as “encryption”. In layman’s terms, the process of encryption uses a “code” to turn your original files into something totally different that makes little or no sense to anyone else. Only by having a copy of the encryption key is it possible to turn your files back into their original, readable, usable form.
The code is so long and complex that it’s virtually impossible to guess, helping to keep your files safe and secure in the cloud.
In essence, when you’re backing up your computer, the cloud storage company you’ve chosen encrypts your files before they even leave your computer. They’re then sent across the internet to a secure location where they are stored in this “unreadable” format. As a result even if anyone managed to crack your password and download your files they’d be less than useless.
Then, if and when you ever need to download your carefully stored files, your backup is downloaded and then unencrypted on your computer, rendering your files ready for use by you once again.
It’s a simple yet highly effective way to beat internet crime and protect your computer from any unauthorized access.
Of course there are several “types” of encryption available, which differ by their complexity. The longer the “code” is that’s used to encrypt your data, the more complicated it is and the more secure your data will be.
Most online stores use a level known as “128-bit SSL”. This is generally agreed to be perfectly acceptable to encrypt highly sensitive information like credit card numbers, names and addresses. In other words, if you’ve ever bought something online you’ve trusted your personal information to 128-bit encryption and suffered no problems.
However a few online storage companies take this a step further and use an even higher level of encryption – 256-bit or even higher – meaning that the photos of your cats and that video of you on vacation have a higher grade of protection than most online banking transactions. In other words, they’re very, very secure indeed!
But if you’re concerned about cloud storage security it’s not enough to know that these facilities exist – it’s also nice to know who actually provides them so you can select online the most secure option of all.
A useful tool to analyze these security levels is the largest database of online backup providers around which allows you to search and sort through dozens and dozens of different backup providers. In doing so you can find those that only offer the very highest levels of online security.
However digging deep into the results of the database it seems that at present, when comparing all the major online backup companies, the one using the highest level of encryption around is the ever-popular Livedrive.
So if security is a major concern of yours – despite the fact that all the well-known brands use bank-level encryption at a minimum – you’d be well advised to select this option, safe in the knowledge that they offer more protection than any other provider on the market.