There are several ways to protect yourself, but it’s important to remember these three basic principles. Use them, and you should be well-protected.

Rely on a Password Manager

Guess what the top password of 2014 was? “123456.” If someone’s trying to gain access to your cloud account, there couldn’t be an easier way of doing it than simply entering your inane password. A password manager like 1Password can create a custom, secure password—a random collection of numbers and letters—for you, then enter it when you go to your cloud account.

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Password-Protect Your PDFs

If you store sensitive docs in your cloud, make sure any PDFs are password-protected. It’s easily done in Apple’s doc-viewing app Preview but with more difficulty in Adobe itself—you need the premium version to do it. But for sensitive documents, it’s worth it.

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Don’t Use Any Service That Doesn’t Have Two-Factor Authentication

In 2012, hackers broke into Wired writer Mat Honan’s iCloud account by accessing his Amazon account to get the last four digits of his credit card, calling Apple with those digits, and changing his password. Two-factor authentication—when you try to access an account using an unfamiliar phone, tablet, etc., and are required to enter a new, second pass code texted to you by the company—could have saved Honan a lot of trouble, he admits. Most big companies now have this, and Yahoo! recently introduced an e-mail feature that logs people in only once they’ve entered the texted code.

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