Technology

How secure is Dropbox and what are the alternatives?

There are some files that you just can’t risk losing. There are also some that you need to share, but only to specific people. Losing data or exposing sensitive information is something that can terrify you more than any Stephen King’s Novel.

Imagine trying to share a file to your boss, but you can’t because your computer just started updating and is taking forever to complete. If you had that file somewhere else, you could easily access it from any device and send it directly to your boss. That’s where Dropbox comes in.

Dropbox is a cloud storage and sharing platform. The platform works like most of the cloud storage platforms you know. The only thing worthy to know about it, is how secure it is.

How secure is it?

Dropbox has implemented a couple of security measures to ensure that your files have the utmost protection. Among them, these are the measures they have taken:

  • Dropbox files at rest are encrypted using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard. Who would want to decrypt that? Probably someone who has a bunch of years to waste.
  • It uses Secure Sockets Layer /Transport Layer Security to protect data in transit between Dropbox apps and our servers. This means that your files will not be intercepted and corrupted by hackers during transfers. It creates a secure tunnel protected by some advanced encryption only idle nerds would waste time trying to hack.
  • Some hackers have been hired to keep hacking Dropbox and find weak spots. If you are a fresh hacker and you are trying to hack Dropbox, you’d probably quit on your 200th trial since almost everything you are trying has already been tried.
  • Two-step verification has also been made available. This is an optional feature which you can choose to receive security codes by text message or from any Time-Based One-Time Password app, like the ones Slack sends.
  • If files are made public, only the person who has the link can view it.

Please clarify through research what you haven’t understood. Most of those points are just complex words that make you think that the application is super safe, even though that may not be the case (not that it isn’t). I can even add that Dropbox uses XLMHT/GHT encryption and some of you may nod to it, saying that is one hell of an encryption, when they are just random letters that mean nothing.

On a serious note, Dropbox is one of the safest cloud sharing platform. However, they would not be testing for threats if there weren’t any, would they? Maybe that idle nerd will finally get his way.

Having options to choose from is a great way of determining the perfect app for you. Apart from Dropbox, there are two other cloud platforms you can consider:

  • OneDrive
  • Google Drive

OneDrive

OneDrive is a Microsoft product that offers unlimited storage to Microsoft’s consumers. Whether you are on a Windows phone or PC, you are given unlimited storage to store anything you want on your private virtual drive.

Pros

  • OneDrive is a cross platform service; non-Windows users also get to enjoy the services. They, however, also have to endure some limitations.
  • The app is embedded to Windows 10 as a folder. You can access the files on your PC both locally and virtually. You don’t need an internet connection for any file you have stored there once synced.
  • When you save a file in your one drive folder offline, it will later get synced automatically.
  • The files automatically sync to your fresh copy of windows once you sign in. It is like you never deleted anything, though it is not suitable on metered connection.
  • There are more ways to share OneDrive files than on any other platform.

Cons

  • Whenever your files are attacked, OneDrive files may be vulnerable too. The only way you can be totally sure about the security of your files is by installing antimalware software.

The antimalware software keeps the unencrypted files safe from worms and other infections.

 

Google Drive

Google Drive is a Google cloud storage and sharing platform that has made file sharing easy for millions of users. Among these millions of users, millions are Android users and some are Apple users among others… (better to have millions of users using your product than a few millionaires who barely need it).

Pros

  • Free 15gb storage. Google gives you 15GB of storage to share among various apps. It Doesn’t matter whether you use all of it on Drive, Gmail or any other app… just get ready to pay if you want more.
  • Cheap unlimited storage. Unlike most cloud platforms, Google Drive offers cheap unlimited storage which could be used on any of the google products.
  • Virus check: Google Drive has an antimalware program that scans files for malware before sharing it. The program, however, can’t scan through large files. You should therefore install a local copy of anti-malware software… just in case.

Cons

  • Actually, there are no significant disadvantages. However, for the sake of making the others look better, it would have been nice if they offered free unlimited storage. It is not like someone is actually going to save GTA V or some other huge game on cloud.

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