5 questions to ask your online storage provider

Posted on Aug. 07, 2014 by Canada Post in Living

Looking for a secure place to store your personal documents online? Before you put your personal information like bank account, insurance or health records, make sure your online storage service is secure and trustworthy. Here are 5 key questions to ask your storage provider before you put your information into the cloud.

What kind of encryption are you using?

To keep your personal information safe, find out if your online storage provider encrypts your data. Encryption is when information or messages are scrambled or put into a code. The only way it can be read is with a special key that is only used by an authorized party.

Your provider should encrypt both during transmission, that is while you’re uploading and downloading files, and while your files are stored on their servers.

Find out if your provider is using internationally recognized encryption standards such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Also, ask if they use the same encryption key for all accounts or generate a different key for each account. Different keys create a much higher overall level of security.

Are my files private or can you see what’s in them?

Let’s say the site encrypts your data. Is that good enough? It might be, depending on your privacy requirements.

Take a close look at your provider’s security practices. Know what you are agreeing to when you sign their terms and conditions. Do they, for example, have a separate privacy notice that clearly spells out what they do with your data?

How hack-proof are you?

Find out if the site service has bank-grade security standards. Ideally, your provider will comply with strong financial and payment industry standards. This means your provider:

  • has a secure network
  • manages vulnerabilities such as viruses
  • has strong access controls, and
  • submits to an auditing process to ensure compliance with security standards.
  • In addition, all cloud storage providers should employ security experts or ethical hackers to test their site frequently.

    Where is my data stored and do you have disaster recovery plans in place?

    Find out where the site’s servers are located. They may store your data outside of Canada and be subject to the privacy laws of a different country.

    Be sure your provider has disaster recovery plans in place that include:

  • Multiple redundant independent power supplies.
  • Replication of data in real-time to disaster recovery servers.
  • A copy of all data onto tape for off-site backups in another city.
  • What will happen to my data if you go bankrupt or get bought?

    Many of today’s online storage providers are start-up companies. This means some of them won’t be around by this time next year. Find out how long they’ve been in business and think about how much you trust their brand with your most private personal information. If they go bankrupt, you may be given little or no advance notice and will be responsible for downloading all your files and finding another solution.

    Securely store your files with epost Vault

    Looking for a bank-grade trustworthy online document storage provider? Use the epost Vault. With bank grade security, data encryption and Canadian-only storage, know that your files are protected and stored securely by one of Canada’s most trusted companies.

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