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Could OneDrive Get Hacked? What You Really Need to Worry About – Ask Leo!

I like the idea of cloud storage, but one thing stops me: couldn’t a service like OneDrive get hacked? I mean, I’m not sure I could sleep at night worrying about someone getting at my stuff!

Yes, OneDrive could get hacked.

Next question?

OK, ok, obviously it’s not that simple. Even though the answer is technically “yes”, there’s much, much more at play here.

I’ll say two things: first, there are much more important things to worry about, and second, I have a ton of information in cloud storage, including OneDrive, and I sleep just fine.

While technically any online service could be hacked, the risk of it happening to a service like OneDrive, or Microsoft, or any  reputable service, is so tiny as to not be worth worrying about. Your own account is at greater risk of compromise, as individual accounts are lost every single day. You can use OneDrive and other services safely by taking ownership and responsibility of your own account security with proper password hygiene, computer security, and a healthy dose of skepticism and common sense.

Everything is at risk, always


I’ll start by putting this the worst possible way: the answer is always “yes”. Everything is always at risk. The files you have in cloud storage, your emails stored online, the information stored on your computer, the files you keep in a locked filing cabinet — they’re all at risk of some kind of loss or exposure.

All of them. The online and digital components could get hacked or deleted and the offline items could be stolen or destroyed.

Everything you have is at risk.

One of those risks is that yes, your cloud storage provider, like OneDrive (or Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, or any of the others), could, themselves, get hacked.

What matters more is understanding how real that risk is. The more important question is “How likely is it that OneDrive would get hacked?”

The answer here is very clear: not bloody likely.

Seriously, while it’s conceptually, theoretically, and perhaps even physically possible, the safeguards and security measures Microsoft has in place make it effectively impossible. It’s not at all likely to happen, and not something I would worry about at all. Period.

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Worry about this instead

Your OneDrive and other accounts are still at risk, though.

The real risk is your individual account getting hacked, not the services themselves being compromised.

As boring as it sounds, you run a greater risk of having your data exposed by allowing your account to be compromised in some way. And yes, I said “allowing” intentionally. It almost always happens because someone lets their guard down or doesn’t follow through with appropriate security steps.

Microsoft and the other online service provider has a vested interest in keeping their service and servers secure. They go to great lengths to make sure they can’t be hacked or otherwise compromised.

Can you say the same?

Controlling what you can (and should)

Your OneDrive account is your Microsoft account and represents a very lucrative hacker target. I hear of those being lost or compromised almost daily. That’s the real risk: that  someone, somehow, somewhere gains access to your account and everything in it.

The good news is, your security is under your control.

The bad news is, your security 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 be OneDrive or something else.

Choosing to use OneDrive or any online service requires you place a lot of trust in that service. For most recognizable, reputable services, that trust is well-deserved.

How they secure your information on their platform is out of your control.

What remains in your control, however, is your personal security. When it comes to losing your account or having your data exposed, this represents a significantly higher risk than the service itself being compromised in some way.

Take the time to secure your account. Once you do so, you can absolutely feel safe using OneDrive — and sleep easy at night.

If you found this article helpful, I’m sure you’ll also love Confident Computing! My weekly email newsletter is full of articles that help you solve problems, stay safe, and give you more confidence with technology. Subscribe now and I’ll see you there soon,


This post was written by Leo Notenboom and was first posted to

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