Dropbox is fantastic that it can make your files from the cloud available to one computer, then to your laptop, then to your smart device, all at once in all ways possible depending on revision of contents.
However, I cannot fully guarantee that such a convenience would promise an equal amount of security, more if you learn that once you have linked a device to your Dropbox account, chances are you have already kept the files syncing in between without asking anymore for your security details whenever it tries to.
Worse, cases do also happen when you downloaded (and installed) a desktop version of Dropbox to a public PC, and by linking your Dropbox account, you accidentally left all your files syncing without unlinking after you use.
Files, then, are set to prying eyes and may even harm sensitive information which your supposed-to-be-secure account may contain.
Other than these, some apps to which device you have linked on may also gain access to your files, and unless you learn to monitor them and take administration of them, you may lose a lot of what may be overly valuable to you.
For you to fully check what’s going on with your Dropbox account in all of the associated devices, the best way is to go online and check on it yourself:
- Click on the down arrow after your name found on the top right area of your Dropbox page. Select Settings. This should lead you to another page.
- On the list of tabs arranged in a row, select Security. Within the page, you are free to verify which notifications you will get (among which is notifying you when a device is linked—something which may be out of your consent), the list of devices linked, and the log of the most recent activities. You may also want to go to the My Apps tab to check how or what apps are gaining access to your Dropbox account.
Obviously, the best and the easiest way to unlink a device off your account is to click the Unlink link found at the extreme right of the row where a device you selected is.
It will give you a final note that data will stop from automatically syncing, but files which are downloaded to that device are permanent already. Click Unlink [device] to finalize the action.
To unlink a computer or laptop from the desktop app:
- Right-click on the Dropbox icon found on your notification area. This should give you a small pop-up window. Go to the gear icon on the top right area of the window. Select Preferences.
- A new floating window with tabs will show up. Select Account tab, then click on the Unlink This Computer.. button. A final note will let you know that the files downloaded will not be deleted along.
- Click OK.
Again, be noted that unlinking a device only stops the automatic sync feature of Dropbox to work, but the files downloaded on each device will not be deleted. If you are still worried that there might be sensitive files left on that PC, the best way is to go back (if chances allow you to) to that PC and delete the files or the whole Dropbox folder.
If you cannot gain any access to that computer again, you may try these steps:
- Do NOT unlink the selected device yet.
- Back-up all your files from your online Dropbox page. This may be done by transferring your files to another cloud or FTP storage, or you can download them all to a safe local storage.
- Delete all your files on Dropbox. This will give Dropbox the impression that since all files are deleted on the cloud, the same action will be done to all of your linked devices.
- Check your log as instructed a while ago to know if the latest activity (which is the deleting of your files) is actually done already or not yet.
- Unlink the device from your online account page.
- Change your password. This will ensure that any other person will not be able to access your account from anywhere else.
- Reconfigure and upload all your files and settings again.