Making the most of Google’s free cloud storage for your startup

Let’s say you’re a startup company, and like many companies at the beginning of their story, you work with a skeleton technology crew. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that you’re also relying on free services to save on costs while you’re still trying to grow your company. There’s no shame in that; that’s just practicality. But that doesn’t mean going the free route should make you or your files vulnerable.

Google is a great example of a company that offers everything a startup needs: email, cloud storage, apps that allow you to create documents, a calendar, photo storage, and more and it’s free as long as you don’t exceed its storage allotment.

When it comes to using Google’s tools, it is a great idea to use tips and tricks to get the most out of the experience. Many organizations first use Google’s services for storage. For the first 15GB of data, which is a mix of email, photos, videos, and anything you can store on Google Drive, the service is free. (An additional 100GB costs $1.99 a month, 1TB costs $9.99 a month, 10TB costs $99.99 a month, 20TB costs $199.99, and for 30TB of data you’ll pay $299.99 a month).

With all of the security issues you hear about nowadays, it’s good to know that even if you opt for the free storage, Google is using 256-bit AES encryption to guard data. One of the biggest problems with keeping your data secured, like anything else, is the human who uses it.

To help reduce that human security gap, here are some great tips and advice on how to keep data secured while using this tool, as well as others:

Passwords

Remind your crew not to use obvious passwords such as “123456”, “password,” or “qwerty,” which are all in the list of worst passwords of 2015. Also, remind them not to use personal information such as their birthdates that can be found on identification cards or even social media sites. Advise them to use a combination of numbers and letters, special characters, and to use capital and lowercase letters to make it more random.

Enable two-factor authentication

Almost everyone uses a mobile device. It doesn’t have to be a smartphone, even a feature phone will work for this. When you activate two-factor authentication on your computer or laptop and someone tries to sign-in using a different device but with your credentials, it sends a code to your mobile device that will be needed to log in to. Without this code, that person will not be able to access your account.

Don’t use unsecured WiFi networks

Though it is so tempting to connect to an unsecured or public WiFi, especially when you’re saving your data, don’t. There’s always the chance that public WiFi is crawling with nefarious entities waiting for someone to connect so they can do damage. In this case, because this is a cloud-storage service, files can deleted by an intruder who gets access to your account. And you don’t want that.

Hopefully, these tips can help your business get off the ground and maximize the benefits of using free cloud storage.

Photo credit: Pexels

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