Using Dropbox is an excellent solution for teams of separated individuals working on a single project, for people wanting to share simple files with loved ones or friends, and just to keep important files in a single place. Many worry, legitimately, about the safety of the data they upload, though. With so many people so skilled at breaking into emails and even remote computers, one might wonder about how well protected the method actually is. Of course, no one is more worried about the security than the folks over at Dropbox – and they have made sure that it is absolutely as tight as it can be. Here, we will go over some of the safety features and why you do not need to worry – even a little bit.
Data is often most vulnerable when it is moving from place to place. This is when it is easiest to intercept, since it is not on your computer (which is protected), and not at its destination (which is also, presumably, protected). Dropbox takes care of this by encrypting data on its way from place to place – that means from your computer to Dropbox and from the software to other PCs.
And once your data is actually in your Dropbox, it is even safer. Not only is it harder to get to than it is when it is in motion, it is encrypted with the same system banks use to protect customer credit card information: This is the AES-256 standard, and if it is good enough for a bank’s credit card databases – well, then you better bet it’s good enough for your pictures and project files.
The program ensures its encryption systems are always up to bar by working with security professionals. And they do not just talk with them to come up with good ideas that they then try to implement. By “working with security professionals,” we mean, “paying them to break security and help patch the weaknesses.” That is hardcore collaboration, and the only kind that leads to truly improving security systems. You will be pleased to know, though, that Dropbox rarely fails such security tests: Rather, they improve what is already great by patching up things that might be problems, not things that were problems – just another way you know your data is as safe with Dropbox as it is at home.
Store Encrypted Files for Paranoia Level Protection
If you are particularly paranoid about the safety of your files, you are not restricted to upload normal files to an encrypted Dropbox. If you are really worried, you can encrypt your files with a third-party software of your choosing before uploading them. Then, if someone does break in (which they won’t), they will still have to break your encryption (which they won’t). If that is not safe, we do not know what is.
The bottom line with Dropbox is that it is about as safe as online storage can get. It is just about guaranteed that your files will never be touched by anyone but the people you give permission to – and that is a promise on the part of the team.