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Is My Data Really Safe? Your Questions About Cloud-Based Storage, Answered. One expert shares tips to ensure your data stays safe and secure in the cloud.

By Mikal E. Belicove

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q: How secure is my data in a cloud-based storage utility?

A: The short answer: It depends on you. If you use software-as-a-service providers such as, Office 365 or Dropbox to store your documents in the cloud, those companies take a certain amount of responsibility for the security of the data they maintain on your behalf. What they don't take responsibility for is your lack of company protocols regarding access to said files.

Hemma Prafullchandra, CTO and senior vice president of products for HyTrust, a Mountain View, Calif., startup that provides security and compliance software for the cloud, says most cloud-based applications use safeguards to protect how data is transferred to the servers in their physical data centers and to back up and recover data. But even the larger cloud-storage providers don't require clients to use strong passwords that are reset every 90 days.

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