Yes, OneDrive can be hacked. This also applies to any online service. The real question is, how likely is it, and are there other things we should be worried about?
Okay, okay, it’s obviously not that simple. Even though the answer is technically ‘yes’, there is much, much more at play here.
First, there are much more important things to worry about, and second, there are a lot of information in cloud storage, including OneDrive.
While technically any online service can be hacked, the risk of this happening to a service like OneDrive or Microsoft, or a reputable service, is so small that you don’t have to worry about it. Your own account is at greater risk of compromise, as individual accounts are lost every day. You can use OneDrive and other services securely by taking ownership and responsibility for your own account security with proper password hygiene, computer security, and a healthy dose of skepticism and common sense.
Everything is always at risk
I will start by saying this in the worst possible way: the answer is always ‘yes’. Everything is always in danger. The files you’ve stored in the cloud, your emails stored online, the information stored on your computer, the files you keep in a locked filing cabinet – they all run the risk of some form of loss or exposure.
All. The online and digital components can be hacked or removed and the offline items can be stolen or destroyed.
Everything you have is in danger.
One of those risks is that yes, your cloud storage provider, such as OneDrive (or Dropbox, Google Drive, Box or any of the others), can be hacked yourself.
What is more important is to understand how real that risk is. The main question is, “How likely is it that OneDrive will be hacked?”
The answer here is very clear: not likely.
Seriously, although conceptually, theoretically and perhaps even physically, the precautions and security measures microsoft has taken make it virtually impossible. It’s not at all likely to happen, and not something I wouldn’t worry about at all. Period.
Worry about this instead
However, your OneDrive and other accounts are still at risk.
The real risk is that your individual account will be hacked, not that the services themselves will be compromised.
As boring as it sounds, you run a greater risk of exposing your data by allowing your account to be compromised in some way. And yes, I said deliberately “allow”. It almost always happens because someone drops their vigilance or does not take the appropriate security steps.
Microsoft and the other online service provider have a vested interest in securing their service and servers. They do everything they can to ensure that they cannot be hacked or otherwise compromised.
Can you say the same thing?
Determine what you can (and should)
Your OneDrive account is your Microsoft account and represents a very lucrative target for hackers. I hear almost daily that people are lost or compromised. That’s the real risk: that someone somehow gets access to your account and everything in it.
The good news is that your safety is under your control.
The bad news is that your safety is your responsibility. Service providers can’t do it for you.
That means the same old boring litany of steps you need to take to secure your account, whether it’s OneDrive or something else.
- Long, strong passwords.
- Don’t reuse passwords.
- Share with no one account information and/or passwords.
- Don’t use important accounts on public/shared computers.
- Keep your system software and all applications as up-to-date as possible.
- Run good anti-malware and security tools.
- Use common sense and be skeptical, especially when it comes to email messages.
- Use, or at least consider, two-factor authentication where it is made available.
If you choose to use OneDrive or any other online service, you need to put a lot of trust in that service. For most recognisable, reputable services, that trust is well deserved.
How they protect your information on their platform is out of your control.
However, what remains under your control is your personal safety. When it comes to losing your account or exposing your data, this poses a significantly higher risk than the service itself being compromised in some way.
Take the time to secure your account. Once you’ve done that, you can feel absolutely safe by using OneDrive – and sleep peacefully at night.