Dropbox

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by CrankyScott, Jun 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. CrankyScott
    Original Member

    CrankyScott Silver Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    285
    Status Points:
    450
    I have been a long time fan and user of Dropbox. It allows me to keep my laptop and desktop machines in sync with various files.

    This Sunday, they had a security breach where they accidentally opened all user accounts for free access. Here is a good overview from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/06/21/dropbox.unlocked.wired/index.html?iref=allsearch

    They report only 1% of users had files accessed. Well if the report is right, Dropbox has 25 million users. So 1% is a quarter million! I guess 1% sounds better.

    I am still using Dropbox, but have gone into crypto mode and am now using a Dropbox add on program called BoxCryptor.

    What are others doing? Do you have a better solution?
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    Dropbox is great but I wouldn't use it / trust them to provide total security for my files. Thus I wouldn't upload anything to them that's truly sensitive.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  3. below sea level
    Original Member

    below sea level Silver Member

    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    310
    Status Points:
    435
    I was a big fan, and even went as far as purchasing extra space because of the convenience it offered while traveling. My main computer is a desktop and I travel with a laptop.

    A few incidents over the last few months have caused me to reconsider this strategy and now I only keep the bare minimum on there for the shortest possible time.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  4. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    I don't store what I would call "critical" info there, but it's always worrying when a large cloud-based service makes a mess of things, especially when everybody seems to be headed towards the cloud.

    If you need cloud storage and rock-solid security, you could also go for something like secretsync (although it was for Windows only last I checked).

    http://getsecretsync.appspot.com/download/

    You basically install the app and it encrypts a folder on your computer and everything you throw in there ends up on Dropbox. Problem is that to access the info on several machines, they all have to have the software installed, and I don't think it works if you need to access info on mobile devices.

    The other option is just going hardcore with TrueCrypt, and create an encrypted container inside your Dropbox folder. Anything you put in there is encrypted automatically to whatever level you select, and that's that.

    Problem again is that you wouldn't have access to that data unless you have a machine with TrueCrypt installed so you can mount/decrypt the volume. I guess it's the price of flexibility/access vs. security...
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  5. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I stopped using DropBox because of security concerned and now use proprietary synched encrypted file technology given to me by a client that sells data security. It works with my iPad, laptops and laptops (all Apple) but I have tried nop others that are publicly available.

    I am becoming paranoid!:mad:
     
    viguera likes this.
  6. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. :)

    Dropbox is great and has its uses, but you can't be careful enough about who sees your data, because as we all know, once the genie is out of the bottle, he's not going back in.

    Using USB drives and the like is no more secure -- and they're easier to lose than your phone. And opening holes in your firewall to allow remote access is just as bad. Instead I have a 1GB TrueCrypt volume in my Dropbox that I use to store sensitive stuff that I need to access remotely.

    If I need access to something I pop into Dropbox and mount the volume. Any changes / edits are automatically replicated back and saved so I can access them when I get home. The whole thing is wrapped in AES 256, Twofish and Serpent, so if anybody can actually get to it I will shake their hand and walk away, because they're obviously really really good at what they do. :)
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  7. toddreg
    Original Member

    toddreg Silver Member

    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    320
    Status Points:
    475
    I keep non critical stuff there myself. But, I use it more to move data between machines. For example I may put stuff on it at work so that when I get home it is on that computer. I then simply move it out of the Dropbox folder to another location. It then deletes the data from my Dropbox folder at work (where it is also stored elsewhere).
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  8. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    I also use http://www.strongspace.com/ formerly owned by my hosting company Joyent.com, now owned by http://www.expandrive.com/ which provides drivers to mount SFTP servers on the Mac and PC... It mounts the StrongSpace SFTP server as a new drive. I have a lifetime free account from Joyent so I don't judge it on the cost - but the whole SFTP setup is fairly secure as compared to FTP and the like.
     
  9. ArizonaGuy
    Original Member

    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    603
    Status Points:
    645
    I keep hoping Google snaps up DropBox (or someone else, but many Android apps already use DropBox effectively) and bolsters it as a competitor to Apple's new iCloud service.
     
  10. ArizonaGuy
    Original Member

    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    603
    Status Points:
    645
    Oh, and do we have a Dropbox Conga? I couldn't find a thread.
     
  11. Jslo
    Original Member

    Jslo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    2,649
    Status Points:
    1,445
    I only use dropbox for non sensitive stuff...the odd vacation photo or some of my Kindle books...
     
  12. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Well other than storage, Google already has everything in place as a competitor to iCloud, and have for some time now. If you have a Google account (gmail or not) you can store your contacts and calendar on the cloud and Google keeps them in sync with your Android device, so you could access them from your phone/tablet or PC.

    Same goes for Google Music now, although I'm surprised that the Chrome/Chromium team hasn't been brought fully onboard to have a better browser and sync setup across the mobile space. One of the reasons I switched to Chrome for personal use is because everything (bookmarks, installed plug-ins and everything else) is synchronized across machines... if they could extend that to the mobile browser I'd be all set. :)
     
  13. ArizonaGuy
    Original Member

    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    603
    Status Points:
    645
    Google obviously syncs calendar, contacts and messaging via Gmail. And yes, they have Google Music, though frankly the iCloud method that doesn't require uploading all existing tracks makes Apple's service the winner (can't believe I just typed that). But as you point out, there's no Chrome-esque browser and Firefox has beaten them to the punch with the non-beta release this week - works perfectly with Firefox Sync. Then there's the lack of fully integrated Picasa support - why can't photos automatically sync with the web service? Android's Google Docs app is only a couple of months old, 3rd party apps plus office apps supporting docs are much older.

    All those are separate Google services that don't all work the same way. For someone who isn't a power user it's aggravating. Apple's got something when they say "it just works." This is why I think an enhanced DropBox product or a similar service (whether bought by Google or built in-house) as a one-stop solution to compete with iCloud would be a winner.
     
  14. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    As far as the Picasa comment goes, I for one am glad that photos don't automatically get sent up to the cloud... :)

    I've actually been using pixelpipe for a few years now... it's a centralized service that you upload the pic to once and configure your "pipes" (such as Picasa, mobile me, flickr, etc) and they handle publishing the picture to them all, rather than say you having to upload the same pic several times. Saves on bandwidth, plus allows me to send some stuff to my Dropbox (and nowhere else) and sending other stuff to facebook/flickr/etc.

    I think the "issue" with Google is that it feels like they're a very, very large company made up of a lot of small departments full of engineers. Some of their stuff is tied together very well, some of it not at all.
     
  15. jhflau11
    Original Member

    jhflau11 Silver Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    316
    Status Points:
    435
    I use it mostly for non sensitive files too. But, I've have upload sensitive files I created a password protected encrypted .dmg files on my Mac to store the files.
     
  16. Philphactor
    Original Member

    Philphactor Silver Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    131
    Status Points:
    420
    Personally, I use SpiderOak
     
  17. emajy
    Original Member

    emajy Silver Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status Points:
    375
    You can create and encrypted a volume using the open source software Truecrypt. There are many tutorials on how to do this online. This way you get security along with the convenience of Dropbox.
     
    jhflau11 likes this.
  18. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Caveat with TrueCrypt though is that the file stays open until you unmount the volume. So if you work on multiple machines (say work and home) and forget to unmount the volume when you leave work, the changes that you made won't show up when you open the volume at home, and you'll have a conflict volume created instead.

    But as long as you remember to exercise some discipline and unmount the volume -- and allow it to sync back up to Dropbox -- before you leave, you shouldn't have any problems.
     
    emajy likes this.
  19. LAXtraveler
    Original Member

    LAXtraveler Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,583
    Likes Received:
    1,780
    Status Points:
    1,060
    I use Dropbox, but keep very few things inside my files. They are basically a few basic word documents that are easier to have in the cloud than anywhere else, and if I am looking to transfer a video file between myself and someone else and then remove it once transferred
     
  20. GadgetFreak

    GadgetFreak Active Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    90
    I agree it is troubling but it is still too useful for me to stop using. I never put anything really sensitive on there. With this latest breech I may change my definition of sensitive a bit, but I will still use it. One of the main things I use it for is reading PDFs from journals and putting keynote and power point documents that I will be using for public presentations. So obviously no concern if I expand my audience a bit.
     
  21. Rambuster
    Original Member

    Rambuster Silver Member

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    221
    Status Points:
    445
    I keep bogus files on there to confuse my competitors when they hack my account !
     
    viguera likes this.
  22. TRAVELSIG
    Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    5,509
    Status Points:
    4,145
    This is a huge hack by the way! One of the reasons I never went to dropbox is because I was concerned about this type of activity.
     
  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I wouldn't call it a hack. As I understand it, they left the barn door wide open and for four hours the horse walked in and out as desired.

    Many of my files are "personal" enough that I wouldn't want them to be exposed publicly. So I am fairly conservative as to what I store in the cloud (and on what service).
     
  24. Redcap
    Original Member

    Redcap Silver Member

    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    506
    Status Points:
    595
    Dropbox is great, but would not trust it with sencitive data from now. Thanks for the post.
     
  25. Rambuster
    Original Member

    Rambuster Silver Member

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    221
    Status Points:
    445
    There were also other issues, where all files could be found by google for a certain period of time.
     

Share This Page