Want to Increase Your Dropbox Security?

There’s always a weakest link: your email. If someone gains access, you’ll likely face serious damage. Your Dropbox account is number two — especially if you have private files synced with your account — so we’re glad to hear that two-step authentication is available as an optional extra security feature. As of now, you can enable this feature with the new Security tab of your account. Just like Google’s popular version of the security feature, you can receive the codes both via text message and the authenticator app that uses a Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) protocol.

Want to Increase Your Dropbox Security?For a while now, Google has offered a way to secure your account with the help of a nice little app called Google Authenticator. It has since been adopted by a couple of third-party services like the password reminder helper LastPass. This two-step verification uses your Dropbox account in conjunction with an Android or iOS app. You can choose from one of three TOTP apps. Google Authenticator is the obvious choice if you have a Google account with two-step verification already set up. Further instructions on enabling this feature can be found here.

It’s a bit concerning about the backup options should you lose your phone. Dropbox provides only one 16-digit emergency access code, but otherwise the feature works quite well without any of those irritating application-specific passwords, either. It also added a way for you to see all active logins to your account on the Security tab, and is working on automated mechanisms to identify suspicious activity.

In any case, added security is always good. if you have a smartphone, you’re advised to use this new feature.


On a related subject, Dropbox added this paragraph to its TOS:

“By submitting your stuff to the Services, you grant us (and those we work with to provide the Services) worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable rights to use, copy, distribute, prepare derivative works (such as translations or format conversions) of, perform, or publicly display that stuff to the extent we think it necessary for the Service.”

You can, at all times, choose from many good alternatives if you want to take your files elsewhere, though as Klint Finley at ReadWriteWeb points out, most services of the type include similar clauses in the ToS. So it’s really your choice, but as with anything on the Internet, the same rule applies. If you want to be secure and be sure that no one can ever steal your digital possessions, then you’ll always have to accept some compromises.

Images by Dropbox

Article Written by

He's a writer and photographer living in Sweden. Technology, philosophy, and films are some of his other interests. In 2008, Maximilian completed a BA in creative writing in London. So, being a writer has been important to him for a long time -- although he prefers to be called a "storyteller."

  • Mitchell Schooler

    I tried to use Pocket (the password manager, not the read it later) which syncs to Dropbox. It emailed me and said I needed to enter a special (16-character) code. So Dropbox does have some sort of applicqtion-specific passwords.

  • http://www.cyberfanatic.com/ CyberFanatic

    Last article for me to win. Which would you prefer though? Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive or Dropbox

    • http://www.maxmajewski.net/ Maximilian Majewski

      Google Drive and Skydrive for me.

  • Ramin B

    I still get nervous about online cloud storage services, I guess it’s something that will become a standard as faster internet becomes available; the encryption of data just gets me worried as it’s traveling from point A to B.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jtgralka J.T. Gralka

    I still remember a couple years back there was a huge physical security threat to the Dropbox software, but since they received a lot of scrutiny for their lackluster security, it’s good to see that Dropbox is taking measures to beef up their standards. Despite the fact that I’ve always loved (and will continue to love) Dropbox, I’m still a Google Drive fan. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/hen.sjoberg Hen Matt Sj√∂berg

    I don’t use Dropbox, but it would be rational to do that if I did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beshoy.lovesjesus Beshoy Shafek Malk

    Amazon gift card comment: I need to use my drop box more

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrdnv Jordan Vasquez

    This is great! We need to increase security across the board! Google Drive though technically offers this as well… I almost find the Google version more secure, but technicalities are technicalities XD

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wwallender Dakota Wallender

    No-matter what i wont trust the cloud for any of my important files, not that i would have problems with passwords, just security, i have my own raid storage server on my network at home when its there i know no one can access those files, thats just how i roll

  • http://twitter.com/ItsJordanVbaby Jordan V.

    I’m always looking for new ways to increase my security, I especially love Google’s 2 step authenticator so absolutely no one can access any of my google accounts

  • http://twitter.com/uthmanbaksh Uthman Baksh

    I do’t have a Dropbox per se. But I do use Box.com, I got 50GB for free for life because I signed up from my mobile device. It’s great. But it could be more secure.

  • http://twitter.com/LOLBOOM24 Aly Osman

    I would not because I don’t know which is safe or not. So I wouldn’t use Dropbox security!

  • Joe Sakamoto

    Dropbox’s new security idea sounds good and I’ll probably.use it. I however don’t use Dropbox that much anymore. I end up using Google Drive more often. I find that it’s easier to use especially when your doing a project with others. Plus I find myself trusting Google Drive more than I trust Drobox when it comes to security.

  • Jesse Aranda

    I use truecrypt on my files first before uploading to the cloud for “backup” and everything else that I don’t care if anyone sees I just upload as is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeFrancis222 George Francis Pirkhoffer

    I don’t really use Dropbox, being a Mac user most of my documents applications are synced to iCloud, for the others, like MS Office and my photos I mainly use a keychain USB or hard disk but Dropbox is certainly something to consider.

  • http://bkgcom.blogspot.in/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    yes this news is around many blogs recently and i think now its time to double check my security settings in dropbox, good to hear the reminder on lockergnome i think it ll certainly help lot of people subscribed to your networks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ferraripower Andrew Benner

    i made a dropbox account, but i hardly use it. therefore someone gaining access to it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal… not saying its any sort of open invitation (no seriously, don’t) i do love skydrive, and especially after forgetting about it for the past half year after giving up my windows phone to switch back to android, its nice to see the files still there and look back on the memories i had while i was using the phone. that’s the beauty of cloud storage. things being uploaded, and being able to forget about them, and then looking fondly back at them. i wish it was easier though, cause uploading can be a bit of a nusiance and a bandwith hog.

  • Tom Sharples


  • http://twitter.com/TheDualCoreDude Lewis Wickes

    I don’t really use Dropbox alot mainly due to security, but with two-step verification, I’m much more sold on the idea of using Dropbox now. If more online services used two-step verification things would so much easier!! :)

  • Guest

    Hey chris, i have been watching your video everyday since october 2009 and as always, they’re all entertaining. I always ignore all hater comments and always try to defend you and diana when i can. Thanks for all the entertaining videos and keep it up.

  • oliver18754

    Hey chris, i have been watching your video everyday since october 2009 and as always, they’re all entertaining. I always ignore all hater comments and always try to defend you and diana when i can. Thanks for all the entertaining videos and keep it up.

  • Tommy Sadler

    It’s about time Dropbox included this. I use two step verification on Google accounts and I have always felt more secure with it. I am glad Dropbox finally decided to add another wave of security.

  • Cworld01

    Thanks chris for today’s geek out. I used a lot Dropbox and share with my friends and now they provide security. Good job dropbox.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mnm9994u Muhammed Nazim

    No matter what I don’t believe they can rival Google’s security… and hence prefer Google Drive.

    • http://www.maxmajewski.net/ Maximilian Majewski

      I agree with you

  • IvanTomica

    Although i like have some of my important things “in cloud” , that opposes to my freedom, cause that way your data is on someones else servers and you are dependent to developer who made that application and you also depend on someone else’s servers. That way neither you or your data is free. From freedom perspective it is far better to have local backup of data but on the other hand it is far secure in term of data loss to have some of your data in cloud. #imho

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691855772 Dana Morris

    Google’s two-step authentication appears to be working well. The question is, how is this any more secure? If they build an algorithm to crack one step, I am pretty sure this new challenge will be met. I haven’t tried drop box but will give it a serious look.

  • http://twitter.com/creation4use Samuel Guillermo

    i believe its a great idea. why not like MORE security

  • Travis

    The more security the better in my opinion, I will be signing up

  • Denis Anderson

    I wish all sites would use some sort of two step authentication. I have it enabled on all my accounts that have the option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.j.hay Eileen Hay

    need two step authetication with Palm Pixi, anything native

  • http://www.kindorf.net/ Scott Kindorf

    n-factor security is always better than n-1 factor security, gang. This two-stepp authentication is an excellent step forward for Dropbox.

  • http://www.kindorf.net/ Scott Kindorf

    n-factor security is always better than n-1 factor security, gang. This two-stepp authentication is an excellent step forward for Dropbox.

  • A Dash

    This is helpful to know

  • ipad8769

    I think that this is certainly something to look into. I would like it, but I have to admit Dropbox is a great! Love the Geek Outs Chris! Thanks.

  • kevalc7

    I would still go for dropbox….
    though its a bit expensive but reliable n worth it…..

  • kevalc7

    I would still go for Dropbox, though it might be a bit expensive as compared to others. Its reliable and worth it…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/familyhearingandbalancecenter Dale Hansen

    loved this article. I live by dropbox and this made my day.