Thursday, November 19, 2015

Free, Safe and Secure "Online" Thumbdrives!

No free thumdrives per se, GOTCHA.

However, I do have some information and recommendation about cloud storage that everyday users like you and me could benefit from.

I think most of us would be familiar with Dropbox and what it can be used for. It has helped me tons in my life, especially during my days as a university student.

However, I recently stumbled upon an article that was discussing Dropbox's security weakness. The quick fix is that you can piggyback on encrypters to your Dropbox and enhance your security, but who has the time for that? Just continue using Dropbox in your daily life, but don't sync sensitive data on it. (for example, an Excel sheet with all your passwords)

I won't be talking about OneNote and Google Drive because the problem with them is that they are so... integrated with our daily life. Having sensitive information on these guys might not be the smartest thing to do, since someone can simply use your device while you are away and access all your information. We are logged in all the time, so there isn't a distinct separation between these services and our lives. If you want security and privacy, you have to give up something, and in this case it is the convenience and ease of access.

And therefore I present these 2 alternatives, which you will love because they are FREE!

First up is Mega, which gives you a whooping 50GB free cloud storage! It's clean, simple, fast and easy to use. While Mega might not be as versatile, it does pretty much most of what Dropbox does, minus some of the more obscure features that 90% of people don't use. I really like Mega as a quick, easy and secure way to partially share links and the decryption key separately, increasing the security massively! I have it currently linked to my phone camera, so I don't need to constantly worry about running out on space on my phone because I'm taking too many photos of my food! I also like how they have a Recycle Bin accessible through the website. When you're moving around files, it's quite easy to accidentally delete a file. Mega's security is better than Dropbox (with the exception of 2FA) and it comes with a freaking crazy 50GB storage free! What's not to like?

Next up is Sync. Sync is basically Dropbox, but with mean security. Sync trumps Mega in every single aspect that I can compare. Sync has 2 notable trumps over Mega. Firstly, you can set your own password up when sharing links, instead of having to deal with an encryption key to unlock files. Typing in "troll" is much easier than "!saf98j3msaWDcasdf412". Secondly, you can not only bring back rubbish bin files, but also pick out different versions! The only thing that Sync loses out on? It has "only" 5GB of storage, which pales in comparison to Mega, but is still way more than the 2GB of Dropbox.

I currently use both of these 2 cloud storage alternatives.

I use Google Drive when I want to make and share Office type documents and collaborate with others.
I use Dropbox as my virtual garbage dump of files and to share non-sensitive files.
I use Mega to auto-sync my handphone photos and to store media and big files.
I use Sync to securely store personal and private files and data.

Basically, I have replaced Dropbox (only 2GB) with a combination of Mega (for big, non-private files) and Sync (basically everything else).

I really like that Sync has a very simple 2FA security feature so that you CANNOT easily access your non-synced files which are stored on the cloud. Obviously, if they are highly sensitive files, you don't want multiple copies that can be accessed from multiple locations. You only want to have 1 copy on your cloud, and in your vault. Sync makes it very easy to implement this because the 2FA will either go through your email (easy and simple) or Google Authenticator (offline and very safe). If someone want to get into your cloud files on Sync, it is not easy because they need 2 things:

1) Your desktop / laptop access password or your Sync username AND password
2) Your handphone AND your handphone password

I feel that Sync with 2FA is the perfect balance of high security and also convenient and easy global access.

I know most people do not take web security seriously, but I think that living in this world that in increasingly embracing tech, people should takes this more seriously, especially when it comes to safely guarding and protecting our personal information and private data.

So there you have it, 55GB of high security, free cloud storage which you can use as your "portable" thumbdrive. If you do plan on signing up for Sync, click on my referral link and we'll both get 1GB more of storage each! 

How much is 55GB of storage in a thumbdrive worth these days? About $15? There you go!

PS. Sync is pretty hard-up about safety and privacy. There is no way for you to trace my Sync ID or registered email by my referral link, and there is no way for me to know who exactly signed up through my referral link, what their Sync ID is or what their registered email is. I have no clue about anything, all I know is that when I get an extra GB, it means someone signed up, that's all. Oh gawd, I love the safety. It's like my own digital safe.


  1. Yo GMGH,

    Thanks for the heads-up! I am quite a tech dinosaur and never heard of the two companies you mentioned.

    But I regard myself as a learning machine and I am going to implement your suggestion. And yes, going to give each of us 1GB extra each!

    1. Hi Mr 15HWW,

      I never heard of these companies too until I read the article! Thanks for the extra 1GB ;)

      I'm thinking of doing a mini-serious about "protecting your wealth", not in the insurance sense, but in the digital security sense. A lot of people don't practice digital safety, especially with regards to their email and passwords. I could go on all day about the common mistakes people make.

      Let's see if I have the time for that!


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