One of the most common concerns we hear at Dropbox is what steps can be taken to help secure an account. Here are a few simple ways that you can help keep your data safe.

One of the most common concerns we hear at Dropbox is what steps can be taken to help secure an account

  1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication requires an additional piece of information, like a physical token, along with a unique user name or password to unlock an account. This is a combination of common security measures (like a password) and devices you have (like a code generated in an app on your phone), so even if your password is compromised, your account remains safe. Many sites offer two-factor as an additional feature, though usually something you need to activate on your own. 

On Dropbox, you can set up two step verification whenever you log in on a new device or browser. To set it up, log in to your account, then click on your account name, and select Settings. Click on the Security tab. Then, under Account sign in, find Two-step verification and click Enable. Follow the instructions to set up, and you’re good to go. 

  1. Review connected devices

Think of all the devices you’ve ever used in your lifetime, and chances are you haven’t logged out of one of them. It’s good to do regular check-ins for all your connected devices so you’re not still logged in to the Uni library computer you used last week.

Dropbox allows you to move across devices and link multiple devices to the same account, so if you’ve been a Dropbox user for a long time, you probably have a long list of devices you don’t use any more on there. To check, follow the steps above to the Security tab and scroll to ‘Devices’. If there are any on the list that you don’t regularly use, unlink them by clicking the x next to the name

  1. Review authenticated apps

Dropbox integrates with a stack of third-party apps to make your life more convenient. Most apps have full account access to streamline the user experience (while some can only access specific folders), but if you stop using the app you’re best off removing it. To do so, under the Security menu, check the apps that you have given permission to. Then delete the ones you don’t use any more.

  1. Use a strong and unique password

A recent study showed 73% of the population use the same password for multiple sites, and around 33% use the same password for every site. Passwords should be strong and unique. Reviewing your password and making sure it’s long, complex, and different to other sites reduces your risk of falling victim to guessing attacks. And if you want a different password for every site without the daily memory exam, we’d recommend a password manager like 1Password or similar, or using the XKCD method for generating passwords. 

  1. Enable email notifications

Emails can be vital for keeping tabs on any suspect activity. Dropbox will send email notifications whenever a new device or app is linked to your account. If it’s something you don’t recognise, remove it immediately and change your password.

  1. Monitor web sessions

As well as device sessions, Dropbox tracks web browsers and sessions on your account. Every so often, it’s a good idea to head to the Security tab and have a look at them. If there are any browsers or countries you don’t recognise, your account may have been compromised and you need a password change.

For an automatic walk-through of your security settings, check out the Dropbox Security Checker. It’ll cover everything discussed in the article and make sure your account and data is safe.