If you have ever used web-based email (Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Gmail, etc.), watched YouTube, or used a search engine – then you have been “there, up in the clouds!” As the cloud gets smarter, so too, computer users must get smarter. Best practices must include both local and offsite data back up and password management. We recommend the following computing habits for smart cloud computing:
Back up, back up, back up. No need for panic when data is lost or compromised when computer users exercise both local and offsite back up. Online back up provides an alternative safe, secure and reliable place to store information that is available wherever there is an Internet connection. Available in free and paid subscriptions, cloud storage providers include companies like Carbonite, Mozy and Box.net with versions for Windows and Mac. Your OnCall technicians prefer Carbonite; however, which ever solution you choose – cloud back up is a must!
Secure passwords. Do not make it easy for hackers by using the same password on every site you visit. IT experts recommend:
- Passwords should be 8 or more characters.
- Passwords and security clues should be personal. Use a relative’s birthday, pet name or family name and spell it backwards.
- Make an acronym of your favorite phrase or quote. Add extra numbers or letters at the beginning or end for different accounts. For example, “I pledge allegiance to the flag” would be IPATTF. IPATTF1 could be your password for Facebook; IPATTF2 your bank account; and so on. If your memory needs tech assistance, research password manager programs such as KeePass or Password Safe.