We use cloud services all the time and the most popular one we use is cloud storage. There are many providers out there, but Dropbox is the best one of them. There is sensitive, private and personal information that we store in the cloud.
If you want to know How secure is Dropbox? or how safe is it? and how they protect your data/files? then this is the perfect page for you. This will clear all your concerns about where your data goes after being uploaded and what encryption technologies are used to secure it. Privacy is the core of every conversation when it comes to choosing a cloud-based service or storing your data at a remote location.
- 1 Introduction to Dropbox – a cloud storage service
- 2 How Dropbox secures your files and folders – A look into their security measures
- 3 Some downsides of Dropbox’s Security strategies
- 4 Quick ways to make Dropbox storage more secure for your files
- 5 A Secure alternative to Dropbox with Encryption and Privacy focused at the core
- 6 Final Words – Is Dropbox safe and secure to use?
Introduction to Dropbox – a cloud storage service
You can use it to back up your files from your computer to the cloud seamlessly. Just put whatever data you want to be backed up in the Dropbox folder and it is saved. It can also save the changes that you do to a file. If you edit a file, it will save its latest version.
Dropbox works like any other file backup tool. However, it uses your internet to save your files somewhere in a Datacenter that is far away from you. You will need the Dropbox application installed on your PC in order to synchronize your data. When you put a file in the Dropbox folder it gets uploaded to one of their powerful storage servers around the globe. You will need to have a decent internet connection with a good upload speed to get files backed up quickly.
How Dropbox secures your files and folders – A look into their security measures
- There are a lot of questions that come to mind when you are storing your personal and private data somewhere else on the web. The reason why most of the time is that it is stored on a server that you have no control over! After this, you are just left in trusting the company with your data. Below are the security measures that Dropbox uses to keep the data secure.
- Dropbox has its own software or client that you will have to download and install on your PC. Their program makes sure your connection with them is secure and encrypted.
- The data that you add in their folder to get synced and backed up is encrypted. Your data is sent using TLS/SSL AES 128-bit encryption which is the industry standard.
- The data is then uploaded to their server and it is decrypted once it has been fully uploaded to their servers. This makes sure that your data stays safe and no one can have a peek at what your files/data contains while it is in transit, thanks to encryption.
- After this step, your data is encrypted again for extra security. This is because in the worst-case scenario if they suffer from a breach or hack the hackers will not be able to unlock your data and look at it. They encrypt it using AES 256-bit encryption.
- When you request data back it is transferred to your PC again using SSL/TLS.
Some downsides of Dropbox’s Security strategies
In a nutshell, it’s not just you who can access the data. Sadly, this is the truth. Yes, they do have many security features including encryption and SSL. However, Dropbox can have a look at your data and decrypt it while it’s on their server. The government can ask Dropbox to have a look at your data and they will simply just give them the data and the decryption key. Few of the problems that can arise from such a situation are:
- An angry or upset employee from the company that suddenly decides to disclose all the data or leak it on the web. Please keep in mind that only management-level staff have such access anyway.
- The company itself getting hacked by hackers and stealing all the encryption keys. There is not a high chance this can happen but, it’s good to just mention that it could be a possibility.
Update: You can also use programs like DiskCryptor to encrypt your files before uploading them to Dropbox for added file security.
Quick ways to make Dropbox storage more secure for your files
If you want the top-end level of security for your data, then follow the steps below.
- Before uploading your files to get uploaded, make sure to manually encrypt them.
- You can follow our detailed guide on How to use AxCrypt for file encryption. This will show you how to encrypt your files with various cryptography protocols and more.
- You can also use TrueCrypt which is an alternative with similar features.
A Secure alternative to Dropbox with Encryption and Privacy focused at the core
SpiderOak is a cloud backup service just like Dropbox. However, they are more privacy-focused and are not able to see your data at any cost. This is because they do not store or keep the encryption keys.
Over the last year, they have released various new features and I must admit, it is a quite strong competitor to other widely available cloud storage platforms now. In particular popular with students and freelancers.
Final Words – Is Dropbox safe and secure to use?
So, is it safe or not? My top recommendation and advice would be to not use it for storing highly sensitive data. This may include but is not limited to photos, logins/passwords, financial records, bank account details, and many others. The only downside is that they can decrypt and view your files. This does not make your data completely private.
Hopefully, this article will answer all your questions about Dropbox security. This will also answer ‘Is it safe to use?’, ‘How they encrypt our data?’, ‘How they protect our data from hackers?‘, ‘Is it safe enough for storing private photos?‘.
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