Is Dropbox Private and Safe to Use?
In today’s fast pace of life for residents of megacities, we all have to work with documents at work and home, in traffic jams and cafés, and even on the go. A PC or mobile phone helps us do this.
Moreover, during the coronavirus pandemic, many people switched to remote work. Lots of people see The Future of Remote Work looking bright. Therefore, we need to actually consider different data storage options.
But how do we make it so that work and personnel files can be available to use where we need them without the necessity to transfer them from one device to another manually?
For this purpose, there are cloud storage servers. About 10 years ago, such systems began to appear and become increasingly popular with users. Indeed, it is much more convenient to add the data and files you need to one place in the cloud and access it from any device. Simultaneously, you do not need to use any disks or flash drives and don’t have to worry that any files will be lost during the transfer process.
One of the most famous and popular cloud storage services is Dropbox. It was one of the first such systems, so most internet users prefer to use it.
But is it really safe to store data on a cloud server? Is Dropbox private? After all, now a real war for user data is happening on the net.
Read Updated Cybercrime Statistics for 2020 and make sure you know the real danger on the internet.
So we decided to look into this issue and say for sure whether to use Dropbox for data storage or not.
What is Dropbox?
Dropbox is a cloud storage service that provides a platform for storing any data. In other words, everything you need is stored not on a flash drive or disk, but remote servers on the internet.
Dropbox provides 2GB of free data storage. If a user wants to increase the storage capacity, they should add members of their family, friends, and colleagues to this storage. The system provides 500MB of additional memory for each new Dropbox user you bring to the service. This way, a user can expand the storage capacity to 16MB. However, by purchasing a premium subscription, the user expands the storage to 2TB.
One of the main advantages of Dropbox is the ability to sync files between multiple devices. A work computer, personal PC, phone, tablet, and other devices use the same account to store data without additional transfers.
All changes with files are automatically saved on all devices that share a common Dropbox account. Moreover, users can share files with everyone — share them with specific people or make the link public.
In addition, developers are constantly updating the service and adding new features to work with. It also has a user-friendly interface and is easy to manage. The storage has a function to restore the previous version of data if you find that you deleted something important after work.
Dropbox supports any file format for storage. Also, you can work with numerous folders at the same time. For storage on a device, the device must have Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, etc.
Is Dropbox private?
Unfortunately, Dropbox is an attractive target for all hackers because of the Dropbox’s popularity as the main data storage holder. So, this storage platform allows you to save megabytes of data without downloading certain apps and files.
However, the security system of this storage service should be seriously reviewed. After all, there have already been cases of hacking user data. One of the most famous data leakage cases was the result of wrong using of the platform by an employee. What is the guarantee that this situation will not happen again?
In this regard, two main conclusions can be drawn:
- Dropbox is a favorite target for cyberattacks.
- Dropbox does not protect your data and does not take the latest measures to protect it.
How strong is the encryption implemented by Dropbox?
A couple of years ago, Dropbox had virtually no encryption at all. Today, however, developers have tried to add several layers of protection to this cloud storage.
First, they added their own encryption: the entire process of sending and storing files in the system is encrypted and protected, and the details of these processes are known only to authorized persons.
Second, Dropbox uses AES as an advanced encryption and data protection method.
Third, the developers have implemented 256-bit encryption, which is currently the classic method of data protection.
At first glance, the encryption implemented by Dropbox is reliable. It corresponds to all the necessary security methods. However, this encryption only protects users at the time of transmission and storage. But not from hacker attacks or government requests.
For instance, Dropbox can receive a request from government agencies to give some specific information about a user. In this case, Dropbox immediately give this data to them.
In addition, encryption does not protect files from user errors. We’ve already mentioned one of these examples above. Therefore, a Dropbox user should think about their data security and privacy on their own and not expose their data to danger.
Dropbox privacy features
We’ve already taken a little look at the data protection system that Dropbox uses. Let’s agree that it is not as strong and thoughtful as many would like. However, there are three main points in the security issue:
To ensure your stored data’s security, Dropbox saves it even after it has been erased for about 30 days. After that, your files are permanently deleted, and even hackers will not be able to get them.
- Browser protection
Dropbox uses additional authentication when logging in to ensure the web security of each user. In addition, after each session of using the storage, the system clears it so that no one else can get the data stored there.
- Service protection and two-way testing
Dropbox has its internal security team and a team of analysts who regularly test each user’s data servers. This is necessary to check the stable and safe operation of the system.
However, even such a security system does not guarantee against information leakage.
Is it a reliable alternative to a private Dropbox?
So, it is very convenient to use “cloud storage.” However, if you consider the implemented security system in Dropbox, it does not guarantee the safety of each user’s data.
*Especially considering the history of security lapses — for example, in a 2011 security failure, for a period of four hours you could log in to any Dropbox account using any password! A lot of data could have been compromised during that period.
Therefore, there are reliable alternatives for those who like cloud storage benefits but do not like the Dropbox security system. For example, Utopia P2P ecosystem.
Utopia is a decentralized ecosystem built on a peer-to-peer architecture. The ecosystem has a data storage container where you can store all your files and documents. All data is stored in a special over-protected cryptographic container that only the owner has access to. Even developers don’t have access to it. Only a special private key that is generated individually at the registration stage opens access to the container.
By the way, registration is completely anonymous: you do not need a phone number, name or address. This storage system is ideal for those who care about data security.
Also, it includes several built-in tools that ensure safe and anonymous work on the network:
- Instant messenger
- Encrypted mail
- Web browser
- Crypto wallet
Take advantage of Utopia and move to the secure side of data storage.
Read Fully-Fledged Guide on Ways to Protect Your Data Online and know all the possible methods for data storage and protection.