Cloud storage is a key feature of Android. But do you know how to use it safely? Do you understand how it works? Put simply, cloud storage is like a giant ledger of records that stores data on the Internet.

By storing data online, the cloud helps you save storage space on your android smartphone. What’s more, it allows you to retrieve your data at any time you want, even after you lose your present smartphone.

Now, the cloud isn’t a trade-marked technology. There are several cloud storage providers in 2022: Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Nord Locker and Dropbox, to name a few.

These companies provide cloud storage across multiple devices: PC and Mac, iPhones, Linux and android devices. Against that backdrop, follow these tips to use Android cloud technology safely in 2022:

Secure your Accounts

As mentioned, you can get cloud storage services from multiple providers. Still, secure all your accounts using strong passwords. Use a unique password for every account.

If two-factor authentication is available, use this technology to secure your account further. For the uninitiated, 2-FA involves linking your email address, cell phone number or an authenticator app to your cloud storage account.

Every time someone attempts to log into your account, they have to provide an authentication code sent to your email address, the authenticator app or your cell phone number.

Pro Tip: Use password tools to check password strength and to manage your different accounts.

Don’t Store Confidential Data on the Cloud

If you’re like many people, you possess photos, videos, and files you would never want anyone else to see. Storing this data on the cloud means that in case your cloud storage account is ever breached, someone else could gain control over your confidential data.

It is true—you can secure your online accounts to stay safe from hackers. But more often than not, the people who breach your online accounts are those close to you.

You might give your friend your cell phone to take a look at your summer photos on Google Photos. But before you know it, they will be seeing photos you didn’t want them to see.

When it comes to storing sensitive data, therefore, find an alternative to the cloud. Store it at an encrypted hard drive and keep it secretly.

Encrypt Files Locally Before Uploading

Many cloud storage providers ask for authorization to upload your files automatically. Although convenient, this system can lead to uploading files that aren’t encrypted.

The problem with uploading unencrypted files is that they can be intercepted before getting to the cloud. If you encrypt your files locally, though, you ensure your data stays safe while being uploaded and even after it is uploaded.

More importantly, encryption helps protect you from worst case scenarios. Let’s say someone ever hacks your Dropbox account. They might download the files they want. But if it’s encrypted, they can’t know what they entail unless they also steal your decryption keys.

Store your Data on Multiple Accounts

One of the advantages of owning an android device is that you can utilize multiple cloud storage options. Yet, far too many people limit themselves to a specific company.

Sure, you love OneDrive because it helps you backup your Microsoft Office files automatically. But you don’t have to use it for all your cloud storage needs. Learn to diversify your storage needs.

Use OneDrive for Office files. Then secure your contacts and photos on Google. On the other hand, subscribe to a paid account to better secure your business files on Nord Locker, Amazon or Dropbox.

Diversifying helps you avoid a total catastrophe in case one cloud storage platform is ever breached. It has happened in the past. Both Apple and Dropbox have been hacked in the past, leading to the leakage of millions of passwords.

Manage File Sharing and Access

Cloud storage providers offer a way to share your files to one or more people. This is great until someone you never gave a link to your account accesses your files. How does this happen?

Let’s say you share a link with your work colleague to help you edit your resume. Once he’s done, your friend decides to share your link with his other friends as a way to show his resume editing skills.

But in doing so, your friend will have allowed multiple people to access your resume through your Dropbox or Google Drive account, something you never consented to in the first place.

To prevent such incidences, review your shared links regularly. Deactivate shares that have already been seen by the intended recipient. Another tactic is to make your shared files read-only. That way, people can edit or download files you’ve shared with them without your authorization.

Empty Your Cloud Recycle Bins

Nearly every cloud storage provider in 2022 has a recycle bin of some sort. It is a great feature that can help you restore your files within a week or month after they are deleted.

Unfortunately, this feature can also be dangerous when you want to get rid of sensitive files. If they remain in your recycle bin for a week or month, there’s a chance that someone else could breach your account and use the feature to restore them.

Emptying your ‘Recently deleted’ or ‘Recycle bin’ is essential regularly is essential if you want to protect your sensitive data. However, it works in collaboration with other tips like data encryption.

Check Connected Apps and Devices

Sometimes online attackers might not have access to your smartphone. But they could still access your cloud storage accounts through a device you gifted your little brother, nephew or better half.

Also, you might have given various apps access to your accounts. If one of the apps gets breached, a hacker could access your data. In light of that information, it is essential to check the apps and devices that can access your cloud storage accounts regularly.

Additionally, turn on notifications to discover new activities in your accounts. If someone logins to your OneDrive account, shares a link or deletes a file, you can learn about it and act on it instantly.