There is a multitude of benefits that come with using a cloud storage service like Dropbox. First of all, you get a place to keep all your files and an easy way to share them too. However, Dropbox is not issue-free, and in the past, there were some incidents that raised security concerns. In this article, we will look into Dropbox’s history and policies and see how they affect the security of your data.
So, is Dropbox private and secure? To answer this question, we need to take a quick trip down memory lane. Dropbox is about 13 years old and has over 600 million users. During this time, however, things haven’t been exactly problem-free.
Has Dropbox been hacked? Not exactly — but there have been several worrying incidents.
The first incident occurred in 2011: a Dropbox error in an update granted access to any Dropbox account to anyone with an email address. A fix was implemented in just a few hours, but, naturally, the security breaches that happened during this time couldn’t be reversed. The thing is, the update should never have been released with this issue in the first place.
The next data breach happened in 2012. In that case, the leak led to the revealing of emails and passwords of over 68 million users. In response, Dropbox issued a public statement and added new security upgrades. However, the main principle of how Dropbox manages data hasn’t really changed.
Another case happened in 2017, when due to a mistake, Dropbox users found old deleted files back in their accounts. It turned out that some data from six years ago was not deleted from Dropbox servers and thus remained vulnerable to a leak.
So, does this mean that Dropbox can be hacked?
In theory, anything that is on the Internet is at risk of being hacked. And even though Dropbox employs industry-standard protections to keep its data safe from security breaches, theoretically, there is a chance that one day someone gets your encryption key because it is stored alongside your data.
Dropbox does use some good security tools like AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and AES 128-bit encryption for data in transit. However, as you can see from the incidents above, they’re not always enough to guarantee the privacy of your data.
Is Dropbox Really Secure, and Why Do These Issues Keep Happening?
Here’s the thing. In order for Dropbox to interact with other apps, data needs to transit freely. If your data first needed to be decrypted by your device, the whole process would become very slow. To avoid this, Dropbox holds on to your encryption key so that it can access the files whenever they want. This is exactly what makes security breaches possible. And this is a very different practice compared to programs that use zero-knowledge encryption. When zero-knowledge encryption is used, no one but you can access your files. The program you are using to transfer your files doesn’t store your password or decryption keys, making it much harder for your data to be accessed by anyone but you.
True, this can make the whole file storing and sharing process slower. But, a major benefit of using zero-knowledge encryption is that neither hackers nor governments will be able to access your data — as even the host company won’t be able to reach your files.
And this is another problem with Dropbox. A potential security issue with the service is that the company’s headquarters are located in the US. Some US laws (like, for instance, the Patriot Act) give government agencies the power to demand access to your data. If Dropbox didn’t have a way of reaching your files, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, the way things stand now, your data would be safer if you stored it with a company based in a country with stronger cloud privacy laws.
How to Keep Files Safe When Using Dropbox
If you want to add a layer of protection to your data when using Dropbox, you may consider using third-party encryption software. These programs can help protect your files before you use cloud storage — and as the encryption keys are stored on your devices, you can be sure that your data is safe.
You can find many third-party encryption services online, and whichever service you choose, you will be making a step in the right direction when it comes to data security.
A Secure Way to Send Large Files and Folders Online
If you are bothered by the security risks related to using Dropbox, consider trying FileWhopper for sharing large files and folders online. This is a relatively new service that lets you quickly send sizable portions of data over the web — and most importantly, it uses zero-knowledge encryption. But let’s start at the beginning.
What is FileWhopper? FileWhopper is an online service for sending files and folders of any size. Unlike cloud storage software like Dropbox or Google Drive, FileWhopper is not subscription-based. You will only pay for the file or folder that you need to transfer, and your fee will be calculated based on its size.
Here are a few more features that make FileWhopper a good alternative to Dropbox:
Zero-knowledge encryption. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — the only way to make sure that your data is 100% safe is by using zero-knowledge encryption. FileWhopper doesn’t store your password or decryption keys on its servers — thus, the program has no way of accessing your data under any circumstances.
No file size limits. With FileWhopper, you can send over files and folders of any size — even 10TB items. While cloud storage services often impose limits on how much data you can store and share (for instance, with Dropbox Basic, you can only store 2GB of data), FileWhopper is different. You can send a file or folder of absolutely ANY SIZE — whether it’s a document, a photo album, a folder with videos, or even an app. As you can send files of any size, you don’t have to bother with compressing them or splitting your folder into several smaller folders. It goes without saying that this helps save lots of time and makes the whole process much easier and hassle-free.
Quick transfers. When using FileWhopper, the recipient of your file or folder doesn’t have to wait for it to be fully uploaded — they can start the download as soon as you begin the upload. This makes the whole process much faster and more efficient.
Protection against interruptions. If your transfer gets interrupted — for example, if there is a connection failure — it will simply pause and then pick up again when things get back to normal.
Ease of use and efficiency. Despite FileWhopper’s extensive functionality, the service doesn’t bombard you with features you don’t need. What’s more, the whole data transfer process is very clear and straightforward.
See for yourself:
- Step 1: Head to FileWhopper.com and follow the instructions on the page.
- Step 2: Select the file or folder that you want to send and let FileWhopper calculate its size.
- Step 3: You will receive a size-based price quote for your transfer and will be prompted to make a secure one-time payment.
- Step 4: Download a tiny tool to assist you in your file transfer. The FileWhopper app is really small and will auto-delete as soon as the transfer is complete. This is also a great time saver and one less thing to bother yourself with.
- Step 5: Get a link to the file or folder you’ve uploaded and a secure password (you can create it yourself if you like) and share them with the recipient.
To sum things up, Dropbox is generally a safe tool to use for storing and sharing your files. However, we wouldn’t recommend using it to send over or store any sensitive data. What’s more, when it comes to managing large files, there are better alternatives out there that may save you both time and money. If you are not sure whether FileWhopper is the right fit for you, you don’t have to simply take our word for it. You can go to FileWhopper.com and test out all of the service’s features in full as your first 5GB transfer is absolutely free.