It’s a tough year for the folks at Facebook. Since the beginning of 2018, the company has been under fire for a breach of trust and security of their clients’ personal data. Google has been no exception, as well. What to do now?

Back in March, it was announced that data of 87 million Facebook users was sold and misused without the users’ prior consent, also known as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Later the same month, the social media platform confirmed that it’s making use of phone numbers used for two-factor authentication, to target the same users with ads, following a research from two US academics investigating the firm’s use of data that is not explicitly provided for ad targeting.

On 28 Sep, 2018 (Friday), the company was involved in what may be the largest Facebook hack in its 14-year history , where more than 50 million users have been affected (quick reminder: Facebook’s user base consists of 2 billion users, which makes 2.5% of its user base). Note: even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s account was hacked.

Google has apparently also joined the bandwagon. A software glitch in the social platform Google+ has allowed developers to access Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018.

Any connections that use Facebook login should have been broken when Facebook reset the access tokens of the affected users, beginning Thursday night after discovering the breach. Google, on the other hand has also stated that it has found no evidence of glitch misuse. As part of its blog post to the incident, the Alphabet Inc. unit on Monday announced permanently shutting down Google+ as a measure for protection.

The moral of the story? If there’s any additional security features your service offers, you should enable them now. For example, if you’re worried that your pCloud account is not secure enough, there are a couple of things you can do, to fix that and make your account safer

1. Update your password

Try with long passwords. Another way to approach your password is to use a sequence of words. It can be your favorite song lyric, book quote, movie quote or magazine cover. Do your best to keep passwords that are at least 9 characters long, have symbols, upper and lowercase letters. What’s more – use a unique password for every service you use. If you’re having a hard time remembering every password you created, create a spreadsheet in your Crypto folder and list every password you use with the service.

pCloud Crypto is one of the most secure environments you can set for private data, due to client-side encryption.

2. Review your Recent Activity

If you are worried that your pCloud account may have been compromised, then it is relatively easy to check:

  1. Open my.pCloud and log into your account
  2. Go to Settings > Security and check your Logged devices

Logged devices will list all of the places and browsers where your pCloud account is active. If you find any session that’s suspicious, then you can immediately terminate it from the list with a click.

3. Enable Passcode Lock

Passcode lock is a feature that’s available for the pCloud mobile app for iOS and Android. You can use it as an additional security step when accessing your account from the app through a security code, or through your fingerprint scanner (TouchID, FaceID). You can enable Passcode lock from the Settings of your app.

4. Enable Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is another level of security for your account that goes a step beyond your username and password combination, and it takes a minute to set up. If you want to access pCloud only on devices you trust, then this feature is a must.

How it works | Manage your Security Settings | Frequently Asked Questions

Enable Two-factor Authentication

5. Review your email address

Here’s a step for those, who want to be especially cautious with their files and online safety. Email addresses aren’t entirely private information nowadays, especially when you use them for your social media account, newsletters, monthly bills etc. If you’d like to take the extra step, creating a private email address for pCloud, which only you know exists is a good step to protecting your account. Here are the steps you can follow in order to do so:

  1. Create your new email address
  2. Open my.pCloud and go to Settings > Account
  3. Click on Change email and enter your new email address
  4. Confirm the change by taking a look at both your current and private inbox and you’re done

Bonus step: Activate pCloud Crypto

pCloud Crypto is our state-of-the-art encryption service that allows you to store, access and hide any file, confidential or not, into your Crypto Folder. It is an add-on to our regular plans but it only costs $3.99/month if you pay annually – a very small price to pay for the peace of mind that nobody, and we mean absolutely nobody but you can access your sensitive data. Plus, you can try it absolutely free of charge for 14 days!

The service is based on client-side encryption, which means that all files are “coded” and “decoded” on your local device – be it a computer, tablet or a mobile phone, and they are then transferred to and from the cloud in their encrypted state. That means that even if the file is intercepted during the process of data transfer, it won’t be readable. Additionally, once locked your Crypto Folder becomes invisible and your digital privacy is 100% protected.