How to protect your cloud accounts

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The hacking of celebrity accounts has raised concerns about online privacy.

Almost all of us have one: a phone, or a computer, and most are tied to a cloud based service.

That means even if something is deleted, it could still be in the cloud.

Experts say most cloud-based services have very good security, but it’s up to people to secure their own – as well.

Apple released a statement saying the celebrity hacking wasn’t a breach of its systems, like the iCloud, rather, they blamed hackers who figured out passwords the old fashioned way.

The investigation into exactly what happened is just beginning.

“This isn’t some cutting edge, new type of attack. This is a very traditional fraud,” said Fred Cate, Distinguished Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Cate says while companies like Apple have good security, the problem comes – at the log-in stage.

“We need to start thinking about some sort of law, or regulation, that would help raise the standard of security. So this way Apple could say, you’ve gotta change your password every month. You say, ‘I don’t want to, I don’t like that, why are you making me do that?’ Apple could say, ‘It’s Congress, it’s not us, and then it’s important to do it.”

In the meantime, how do you make your data more secure?

Cate shared some of the things users should be doing:

  • Pick a tougher password: use numbers, symbols, and random letters.
  • Make the password long.
  • Use a different password for every single online account, not just your bank account.
  • Change the password every month.
  • Use a password manager to keep track of all your passwords.
  • Don’t share that password with anyone: even a close friend.

Some experts recommend not using a word anyone can find in a dictionary at all.

Tom Gorup, with Rook Security in Indianapolis, has this suggestion:

“Picking a phrase from your favorite book: if you list your favorite book on Facebook, that’s probably not a good idea. In targeted attacks, they’re going to look at your social media and try to discern words or phrases you might use there.”

Also look into a two-step identification process. Anyone can opt in with Apple and get asked for a second form of ID – making it tougher for hackers to get in.

To do that, go to MyAppleID, then select ‘Manage your Apple ID.’ Then go to ‘Password and Security’, then ‘Two-Step Verification.’

So how do you know where your data is stored? Take your iPhone for instance.

If the Photo Stream is turned on: that means every photo is going to your iCloud.

By going to Settings, iCloud, then click into ‘Photos,’ you can turn OFF Photo Stream.

Anyone can check online to see if the photos there were deleted on the phone, have now deleted from the Cloud entirely. Cloud storage providers have websites anyone can check to see what information is being stored.

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