The cloud can be a blessing for small business owners struggling through tough economic times. Instead of purchasing expensive enterprise software, business owners can save their dollars by accessing powerful computing programs in the cloud, from high-end word processors and project-management tools to spreadsheets and Photoshop alternatives. But, the cloud isn’t perfect, particularly when it comes to security issues. Business owners must be aware that their documents, presentations, and marketing materials can be damaged when they’re stored in the cloud.

Password issues

The biggest security issue that business owners face with regards to cloud computing happens to also be the biggest security issue that users also face with regards to computing: passwords which are either too easy to guess or shared too freely.

Business owners should be careful to select passwords for their cloud projects which are difficult for others to guess. The best option is for owners to include a blend of letters and numbers in their passwords. Owners should also be cautious about sharing their passwords with too many people. The more individuals who have access to passwords, the more vulnerable important data and documents are.

Hacker alert

Hackers, malware, and spyware are issues for anyone who owns a computer. Similarly, they are serious issues for cloud environments. As a user of a third party cloud storage service, you do not have control over the security of the cloud which can be very scary for business owners. Large companies must set up their own security for the data that is stored in the cloud.

Common sense protection

There are a couple common-sense practices that will help protect small business owners who choose to store information in the cloud.

First, consider the type of information you’d be storing in the cloud. Something that is incredibly sensitive might not be the best to store in the cloud. It could be safer to back up this information on a personal system and find a more secure way to store it.

Secondly, business owners must stay vigilant about who they grant access to their cloud-stored data, documents, and reports. Owners are mindful about whom they allow to access the files on their desktops and laptops and they should be equally careful when it comes to granting others access to their cloud-hosted information.