Reviews

Is Dropbox Safe? Does It Share Users Data with 5, 9,14 Eyes!!

Online safety and security is getting nearly impossible to maintain due to increasing cyber-attacks.

And another reason of losing online privacy is due to the habit of not reading the privacy policy and transparency report (if provided) of the apps you are using.

On the other hand, we all are dependent on the apps since it makes our life more comfortable.

Just like services like Dropbox app, one of the biggest file and data sharing and cloud storage solutions.

But due to increasing cyberstalking and hacking incidents, two questions come into my mind which are:

  • Is Dropbox safe to use?
  • Is Dropbox secure platform to share your confidential files and data?

For this, apart from usual security measures to review an app, I will consider two significant parameters to identify whether “Is Dropbox safe and secure to use?”. The two principal parameters are:

  • The privacy policy of Dropbox (what kind of users information and data it collects to use its services)
  • Transparency report (upon request does Dropbox provide users data to 5, 9 and 14 eyes countries)

For this I spend all most 48 work hours to figure it out is Dropbox secure and safe to use or not.

Unlike usual apps review, Onlineprivacytips.co go one step further to offer a complete report on app safety and security.

What is Dropbox and is it safe?

Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud base file sharing app, and how secure this app is, depends on the way you use it.

The first safety concern regarding this file sharing app is that it requires id and password to use it.

The concern is not really about creating an account, but it links your account with other accounts.

So in case of any of those accounts hacked, since it’s a cloud base system, it eventually deletes your data and copies it and save it into someone’s system.

And this is where even you have set a strong password for your Dropbox account. But there are still some major drawbacks of Dropbox that you should consider before using it.

Dropbox app might look very simple to use for most users, but they do not about what kind of security to your data it provides.

This is why it is really important to find out how Dropbox works:

How Dropbox Transfer Your Files

One of the major concern regarding “Is Dropbox safe and secure to use” is how it process to transfer users data.

This thing cannot forgo that cyber thieves can detect data over a network and use it to harass you.

And it is way easier to steal your data that transmits over a public network.

Dropbox service uses multiple protection layers in the process of transmitting data. It uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)/TLS (Transport Layer Security).

This layer of protection encrypts data and transfer between Dropbox servers and applications.

This layer of protection creates a secure tunnel based on 128-bit AES encryption that is nearly impossible for hackers to decrypt the data over the network.

How Dropbox Safes your Data Which is Already on its Servers?

Files during transfer get SSL/TLS security over the Dropbox server. However how Dropbox safe your files data which is already available on its servers?

Well, the files that are already on Dropbox cloud servers are secured by 256-bit Advance or military grade encryption.

This means there is no way that data hackers can access your files, which are available on Dropbox servers.

256-bit AES level encryption is the most secure way to encrypt your data since it uses hard to break algorithms and only a secret key decrypt the files in the server.

After what I reveal here, it seems like technically using Dropbox is entirely safe and secure to use. But in reality, it is not.

Online privacy is not depended only on the elements of security used by the app to offer its services.

But also depends on the way it collects your data and upon request of mass data surveillance countries whether it provides your data or not

Privacy policy and transparency report also reveal some significant security concerns that will greatly help users whether the app is safe and secure to use or not.

Unfortunately, most of the users do not bother to read privacy and transparency policy of the app we are using, and in the result, we end up with being compromised our personal data.

Dropbox Transparency Report That they Share Your with Data Surveillance Countries

Offering transparency by the app that provides service like Dropbox is phenomenal. However, this is also true that Dropbox is registered in the US and is subject to deliver users data according to the PATRIOT Act.

This means that if US agencies demand your data and files, Dropbox will oblige to provide it regardless of you want to share it or not.

This means apart of using one of the most secure tunnels and encryption tool to protect your data; your data is still not safe and secure at all.

As per the mentioned below graph that is a part of Dropbox Transparency report, the increasing requests by government agencies and mass surveillance alliances is another massive evidence of that your not data is not safe and secure on Dropbox servers.

One more thing that concerns regarding “is Dropbox secure to use” is that it is located in the US that is a part of 5, 9, 14 eyes countries.

This is something that cannot be avoided when there is a question regarding Dropbox safety and security.

The objective of securely transfer your files and stores on Dropbox entirely vanishes since your data can be share to mass data surveillance countries.

This is why Edward Snowden called Dropbox service “Hostile to Privacy”:

“We’re talking about encryption,” Snowden said during a remote interview for the New Yorker Festival in 2014. “We’re talking about dropping programs that are hostile to privacy.

For example, Dropbox? Get rid of Dropbox; it doesn’t support encryption; it doesn’t protect your private files.”

Dropbox Tranparency reports

Dropbox Privacy Policy

If you are still not satisfied with the evidence that concludes that using Dropbox is neither safe nor secure.

Following are some privacy policy aspects that will help you to understand why I am not in favor of using it.

Before revealing what kind of data Dropbox collects and share with whom, another reason for discussing privacy policy here is to create awareness regarding how important it is to read it before using any app.

What Kind of Data and Information Collected by Dropbox Service

According to Dropbox privacy policy, following kind of data and information is start collecting by the app once you sign in with its service:

Privacy Policy

(Source: Dropbox Privacy Policy)

They also assure that they share data with a third party app for the sake of so-called analyzing how user use their app and help to improve it and even use your data for marketing purposes:

Privacy Policy

(Source: Dropbox Privacy Policy)

Breaches and Scandals of Dropbox

When it comes to users data privacy, Dropbox does not contain any outstanding reputation. However it is true that the majority of data breaches happen due to users nonserious attitudes.

But they are a couple of past breaches and scandals that shows Dropbox is not that secure to use:

  • This is something usual by Dropbox of molding privacy policy to get all the control to use or share user data. However, the primary objective of using Dropbox is data safety and security.
  • There was a notable glitch in Dropbox desktop device that deletes users files instead of copying
  • There is another major bug in Dropbox app, discovered by IntraLinks that includes exploitation of users privacy and private data links. However, Dropbox officials continuously claim that it is not a bug.
  • Here, it should also be noted that an incident that made headlines when hackers threatened to have 7 million passwords held ransom has been proven to be false. It has since come out that most of those passwords were expired and not from Dropbox.

Dropbox Reviews

Here are some users’ reviews that will help to understand “Is Dropbox secure to use or not”:

This guy on Quora explains even the Dropbox seems like secure to use, but in reality, there is no privacy since Dropbox engineers can see your data whenever they want:

Quora Answer

Another guy explains why Dropbox is not safe to save your personal data:

Quora Answer

On sub-Reddit where one user asks regarding storing your personal images on Dropbox is safe or not. Surprisingly, one guy gives him a suggestion on how to use it securely instead of not using it:

Conclusion – Is Dropbox Safe and Secure to Use?

Without a doubt, Dropbox is one of the popular cloud base sharing and storing platform in the industry. However, this data sharing service is far away from providing safety and security to users’ data.

Furthermore, since Dropbox uses cloud base system, you have to heavily dependent on other users using habits.

Think logically would you trust your relatives or friends when it comes to secure your personal data? Oh well, you do not.

This is because studies show that 95 percent of major data breaches occur because of mistakes we humans make. And no amount of training or caution will prevent every last slip up.

Additionally, the organization who owns Dropbox is located in the US. Which is a part of 5, 9, 14 Eyes countries.

After all the evidence and vulnerabilities I mention in this blog regarding “is Dropbox safe?”, the answer is no.

This review shows it does not how old you are in the industry; it does not mean that you are providing safe and secure services. However, in the end, the decision is yours whether to use it or not.

Let me know after reading this review; it will change your mind to use a secure alternative to Dropbox? Alternatively, will you still stick with it? Let me know by sharing your comments below.

Salman Ahmed's Biography

Salman Ahmed Siddiqui is a passionate writer who loves to write about online privacy, crypto economy and trending technological developments. He loves to provide effective tips and guideline related to rising cyber challenges. When he is not writing, Salman watches Manchester United play and demonstrates his love for football with his mad FIFA skills.

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