Everything can be transacted online these days. As people get reliant on the internet for their daily needs, many also depend on the internet to store their personal data.
This surge in online storage adoption means that more personal data — from official to sensitive photos and documents — are floating in the cloud, which makes them a tempting target for cyber criminals.
Theft and exploitation of these data can cause significant financial loss and devastating personal impact. As such, it’s crucial for users to engage in the necessary safeguards to prevent these data theft scams.
Why privacy breach is a serious problem
Privacy breaches can happen to any user and company, and prove to be detrimental.
For example, in November 2019, Alibaba’s Chinese shopping website Taobao was hit by an attack that impacted more than 1.1 billion pieces of user data.
The attack happened over eight months as a Chinese software developer trawled the site, secretly scraping user information until Alibaba noticed what was happening. The stolen data included user IDs, mobile phone numbers, and customer comments.
In Singapore, telco MyRepublic suffered a data breach where personal data — such as scanned copies of customers’ NRICs — of almost 80,000 users were affected. The incident took place on 29 August 2021 on a third-party data storage platform used to keep the personal data of MyRepublic mobile customers.
These data breaches may seem unrelatable at first glance, but they can seed deeper problems. They can be information that scammers can use to exploit and financially scam users of the data breach, as well as their friends and family members.
Common data-related scams in Singapore are phishing and social media impersonation scams.
Phishing scams occur when scammers send an official-looking email or text message claiming to be from a reputable organisation you have regular dealings with, such as your bank. The scammers use personal data to trick victims into disclosing their credit card or bank information.
Social media impersonation scams occur when a scammer pretends to be a friend or loved one in distress. He or she will attempt to take advantage of a person’s concern over another to cheat them of cash or steal their data.
These scammers would often pose as bank employees and access victims’ bank accounts or their bank card information and perform unauthorised transactions.
As more and more scammers lurk the internet to prowl on victims in Singapore, it is of serious concern for us to take precautionary measures on our personal data online.
We can do that by tapping on the right data storage provider to prevent security breaches and future grief.
Treasure Cloud: A privacy-first cloud storage provider
With a focus on privacy, Singapore-based Treasure Cloud was started by a team of cybersecurity experts who had spent their careers building the technology that secured the assets of banks, consultancies, and telecoms giants.
Its data storage service also offers ‘client-side’ encryption.
“This means that every time a file leaves your device, it is encrypted with your unique key, and will never be seen or accessed in plain text by any third-parties – not even by us. Your keys are uniquely generated for use only by you,” explained the company.
In other words, only you will know your encryption key, and not even Treasure Cloud employees can ever decrypt your files.
Encryption scrambles a file using a secret key such that it becomes unreadable. In order to unscramble the file and get back the original information, one needs to have knowledge of the secret key and the particular algorithm that is used to scramble the file.
“Your files are encrypted whether they’re stored, in transit or in use. Only you have control of who can access the files that are precious to you,” added Treasure Cloud.
Although data privacy is a huge concern, Treasure Cloud observed that the majority of mainstream internet users aren’t actively looking for solutions that truly protect their data privacy.
Looking at how data breaches can happen to even large organisations like Alibaba, it is crucial for internet users to take the initiative to safeguard their personal data.
Another concern Treasure Cloud has is the lack of data privacy protection users have when they use other cloud storage providers.
Treasure Cloud said that many are okay with the status quo and continue using cloud solutions that work for them and don’t really question how they are giving up their rights to big tech when they are using their cloud storage solutions.
“For example, on cloud storage platforms such as Google, we found that when signing up to cloud storage, you are required to agree to the terms and conditions and this generally means giving permission for your data to be viewed, analysed and even sold,” it said.
“We decided that this was fundamentally wrong so we decided to build a solution that is truly private for users to store their data. With client-side encryption, our technology promises that your privacy is never compromised.”
What are the perks and features of Treasure Cloud?
Unlike other cloud storage accounts where each account stores data separately with different login details, Treasure Cloud is the only platform that lets you connect other cloud storage accounts in a single place.
Treasure Cloud’s web interface is easy to use, with smooth animations for every action and clear navigational tools. It also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, and its Windows-only desktop app is currently in beta phase.
Treasure Cloud works with notable tech providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Intel to create its cloud storage product. This means that decent upload and download speeds are pretty much guaranteed.
AWS provides the storage for Treasure Cloud storage, Microsoft Azure provides the processing power for the platform, while Intel supports via encrypted private keys of users and storage.
Meanwhile, Treasure Cloud can encrypt the files on third-party storage platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, when the user uploads them via Treasure Cloud to the third-party storage.
“You can connect your cloud accounts so you can manage, share and search through all your files in one place. No more fragmented cloud storage and no more worrying about compromises on your privacy,” it said.
This means that users can preview files from other accounts, as well as copy, delete or move them around. This can be very useful for people with multiple cloud accounts and need a hub to access all their cloud data.
To copy or move files, customers just need to select one or more files and then select ‘Copy’ or ‘Move’ in the navigation bar found on the top part of the platform. They can also select multiple files and move them all in one go.
Treasure Cloud also provides previews for images, videos, sounds and several types of documents like PDFs, Microsoft Word documents.
Users can also share files with others with the peace of mind that only the intended recipient will ever have access. In transit or in use, the files are secure from malicious interference, said Treasure Cloud.
In addition, they can use password protection for file sharing as an extra layer of safety.
When signing up for an account, users can also opt in for the zero-knowledge service for another layer of security. This function prevents Treasure Cloud from storing your account’s recovery keys, so make sure you securely backup your unique recovery keys if you opt for this option.
How to sign up for a Treasure Cloud account
New customers just need to go to the signup page on Treasure Cloud and enter their email address.
An email with a secure verification code to validate the address will be sent within seconds. Users then enter the verification code to finalise the account creation.
The Standard account is free, with an initial storage space of 10GB. Users can link up to three cloud accounts, and there’s no cap on uploads and downloads. Other higher tier accounts are for storage spaces of 1TB and 4TB, and require monthly premium fees starting from US$9.99.
Get 10GB free for every successful referral
To sweeten the deal, Treasure Cloud is adding 10GB of storage to every user’s account for each successful referral, up to 800GB. The person who is referred to will also receive additional 10GB to the account.
To send a referral, users can click on their profile button on Treasure Cloud, go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Referrals’. A unique referral link will be available for customers to share that with their friends and family.
Alternatively, users can invite directly from the ‘Invite box’ under ‘Settings’, or when they land on the web app landing page.
Once the invitation is accepted, you will receive a notification and immediately receive 10GB of bonus storage for the successful invitation.
You can sign up for an account with Treasure Cloud here.
This article was written in collaboration with Treasure Cloud.
Featured Image Credit: Treasure Cloud, LancerX