Online privacy: One in every three users don't have a lockcodeOnline privacy. A lot of tech news talk about it, a lot of companies boast about it, but in truth – a lot less people actually do something to adopt it. It’s simple. People aren’t convinced that someone might go around snooping for their personal information.

Proof #1: 1-in-3 Android smartphones don’t have a lockscreen passcode, according to data from Duo Labs.

Proof #2: 31% of Millennials across the globe are likely to share a password with someone they know.

If that’s the case, should we forsake encryption and other file protection methods?

The answer: if you want to lose more than $158 for each and every document someone steals from you – yeah, sure.

As far as history goes, keeping secrets hasn’t been one of the human fortes. That’s why, in parallel, we would come up with the most interesting ways to make up for this flaw. Take the Caesar cipher, for example. In times of war, when Julius Caesar wanted to relay a message to his commanders, he replaced every letter in his original message with a letter corresponding to a certain number of points up or down in the alphabet. Even a better example – there’s none of us, who hasn’t toyed with invisible ink and secret alphabets as a kid.

Then what about now? Are we as committed to our privacy as when we were kids?

Not really. Surprisingly enough, when it comes to our phones and PCs – places that hold our personal information, we hardly do anything. According to Norton Cybersecurity’s Insights report: 1 in every 3 people do NOT have passwords on their phones or PCs – the most basic form of protection that exists today. What’s more, these same people have personal information there that is not encrypted.

And here’s where we have to stop being so carefree. We buy our groceries online, we organize entire holidays from our phones and all sorts of other activities that hold our security numbers, provide us with our billing history and store passwords for important things. Otherwise said, we trust our devices with personally identifiable information – records that can be used on their own to identify us as individuals and that can cost us more than $158 per piece if stolen. (Just skim through all of your documents to get a better look at the picture we’re trying to paint here.)

That’s right, in one of its latest reports, Ponemon Institute found out that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is $3.8 million – 23% higher than in 2013.

[Tweet “With the increase in data breaches, the once known “don’t tell anyone” is now data encryption.”]

Take encryption as an advanced way of using invisible ink and secret alphabets. Jokes aside, encryption is actually, the process of encoding information in such a way that only the person with the right key can decipher it and gain access to it. Even though it’s a rather young science, it has established itself as one of the most robust ways to ensure no one spies on your data, today. In fact, more services are starting to adopt encryption because they realize the threats and consequences of the increasing number of data breaches.

Even though, more and more companies are doing their share of file protection, there are more things you can do to help them:

Check your phone. How many apps do you use and where are your accounts active?

A Localytics survey, conducted by Research Now reports that almost 49% of the US smartphone users work with up to 10 apps each week. You’re probably not that far off this number either and you don’t access them from just 1 device. What’s good in this situation is that most apps (like pCloud, Gmail and others) have this amazing feature – they sync information between all devices you use . In other words, if you were working on a document from your PC, it is available on your phone as well. Take a minute and review your active accounts. You can do that from the log history of your app. Log history is a list of all of the places your app account is active, located in your app settings. Twitter, for example, can be active from your web browser at work, at home and your smartphone. If you recognize a device, which you don’t know about, instantly disable access.

In pCloud’s case, you can find this information in the “Active Tokens” section in your my.pCloud Account .


Check your files and secure them with an encryption service:

Auditing your files can take a while initially, but it’s worth the hassle. Take a couple of minutes to separate the information you have on your phone and PC as either sensitive or regular in separate folders. To make it easier to find your files later, once they are in folder “Sensitive” or “Regular”, create subfolders based on the names your projects or their purpose. Once you do that, choose an encryption software or service with encryption to secure the data.

pCloud Crypto is the easiest way to do that. It’s a folder within your pCloud account that uses client-side encryption to secure your files. This file protection method is unique because, unlike other forms of encryption, it uses your device to secure the data before it is transferred to the pCloud servers. As a result, since your files are already unreadable upon transfer, no one (except you, of course) will be able to access them. Another way to call this is zero-knowledge privacy – where your files can be only seen by you.

We say this is the easiest way to get your files to a safe place because it doesn’t stop you from using your files whenever you need them, unlike other similar software. If you have some reports you want to work on, for example, you can unlock your Crypto Folder, do what you have to do, and then lock your files again.

Interested in trying pCloud Crypto? Try it now for free and make sure your photos, videos and documents are as safe as they can be.