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How To Secure Your Dropbox Account

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Saturday, May 24th, 2014


Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services on the web with more than 275 million users. The service makes it incredibly easy to store and synchronize files across multiple devices and operating systems as well as share files with others. However, Dropbox has witnessed several security breaches in the recent past which suggests that one’s private and confidential data may not be totally secure on Dropbox’s servers. This article will discuss several ways to keep your personal data safe on the Dropbox cloud.

1) Use a strong password – A lot of security breaches occur because people use weak or same passwords across different websites. Make sure to choose a very strong password for your Dropbox account that is different from the password of your email account. Do not forget to use alphabets (both lowercase and uppercase), numbers and special characters to make the password immune from dictionary and brute force attacks.

2) Use Two-step verification – Like many other service providers, Dropbox allows you to log into the website through a two step authentication process. The two step verification process requires you to input a security code (received through SMS or apps like Google Authenticator) in addition to your username and password while logging into the service. This would prevent anyone from logging into your account even if he/she has access to your password. Dropbox even provides an emergency code that can be used to log into your account even if you are not able to receive the security code for some reason.

3) Share with care – While sharing your data with others, it makes sense to share individual files instead of the entire folder. This is especially important if your Dropbox folder contains sensitive documents like tax returns or bank statements.

4) Managing devices – Dropbox allows you to sync your data across multiple devices with the click of a button. While you can link several devices to your Dropbox folder at the same time, it makes sense to be cautious and unlink devices that do not require continuous access to your folder. This will prevent anyone from accessing your data even if he/she gets access to your computer or mobile device. For additional security, you may also sign up for email notifications that can instantly alert you when a new device tries to access your account.

5) Beware of suspicious third party apps – The beauty of Dropbox is that it is highly compatible with third party apps that enhance the functionality of the service. However, you need to be extra careful while granting full folder and data access to third party apps. Stay away from suspicious apps that have received poor reviews and remember to revoke access to your account as soon as the app has finished its job.

6) Encrypt data – While Dropbox uses encryption while transferring and storing your files, it doesn’t hurt to add an additional layer of encryption for a foolproof level of security. There are several reliable apps like TrueCrypt, Boxcryptor, SecretSync and Safemonk available that allow you to encrypt your data with up to 256 bit encryption. The biggest advantage of using such apps is that the encryption occurs on your computer so even Dropbox staff won’t be able to decrypt your files. Some of these apps even allow you to encrypt the entire folder so you would be able to protect all your files with the click of a button. And if you are really paranoid about the safety of your data, you can password protect your files through an archiving program and then encrypt them with one of the above mentioned apps for one more level of protection.


May 24, 2014
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