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Make Online File Sharing Secure

Whether you’re a small business owner or a tech giant, the way you share your data has changed.

Gone are the days of floppy disks and physical copies, even removable drives are falling out of fashion.

In the current world of technology, most files are transferred through various online tools. This new method, although more convenient, does present risks of its own. 

The leak of confidential data is always a concern. So rather than sharing crucial information over email, it’s best to choose a secure file sharing service to ensure your data is safe and risk-free.

Hackers and malware are a constant threat in the twenty-first century, and you must know how best to secure your files online. 

First of All, What Exactly Is File Sharing?

File sharing is the practice of sharing data through a network. This data can be either private or public and can often have different levels of accessibility.

Depending on this level, file sharing allows a select number of people to access the data.

They may also have permission to read, view, or edit the file based on the level of authority the file sharer has provided.

File sharing services typically allocate a certain amount of file storage per user per account.

Before you get started with file sharing, consider the different factors in play. Online file sharing comes with a host of pros and cons.

Below we examine some of the most common pitfalls and advantages. 

Pros
  • Online file sharing platforms allow you to send large files over a secure network; thus, reducing the clutter in your inbox.
  • The internet has made the world a lot smaller; these sharing systems allow you to collaborate with employees across the globe easily.
  • Reduces the need to maintain a central file server that is always online.
Cons
  • Often the amount of bandwidth that is required to run these can be quite costly.
  • It can be difficult to track what happens to a file after it is shared publicly. This is something to always keep in mind when sharing data online.
  • Downloading files from anywhere comes with a risk factor, there is a greater risk of acquiring a virus or other type of malware from a remote file.

With these points in mind, let’s look at what you can do to ensure your files and data will be secure. 

Tips for Secure File Sharing

Use a Trusted VPN to Secure Your Connection. 

A VPN service encrypts your internet connection, hides your IP address, and protects your online security.

An added feature is that you can also install a VPN for your iPhone, so your data will always be secure even if you are not in the office. 

Be Proactive with Your Data Protection

Most file sharing happens at the workplace, so instead of ignoring data protection, take the first step and prioritize securing your data before a leak occurs – don’t wait for a problem to make you take action!

Train Your Users

Workers need to understand the issues of data sensitivity and the risk associated with information leaks. 

Each employee needs to know in detail what can and cannot be shared outside of the organization and securely share data within it.

If you have chosen a secure platform, you need to ensure that your employees know how to use it.

Limit Your Recipients

Most data leaks and security breaches will start internally. Lessen this risk by limiting file access to those who definitely need it, ensuring that any confidential information is only viewed by a select group and not by employees that don’t require access.

Exercise Strict Version Control 

Be careful to adhere to strict version control of your documents. Often there are several versions of each project, which may have several people’s input.

Ensure that you’re always sharing the most up-to-date version of the file to avoid the spread of misinformation.

Choose the Appropriate System

Systems aimed directly at consumers can leave you susceptible to data breaches and other security threats. They also make e-discovery or statements of compliance difficult.

Find a business-grade service that gives you appropriate visibility and security controls, including access control, expiring file access, and compliance and e-discovery.

Audit Annually 

If you regularly share confidential information, you need a system to monitor who has access to these documents actively.

It’s a good idea to have a data officer in charge of reviewing when and with whom the information has been shared.

A careful and regular system auditing is the first step to preventing data mismanagement – don’t wait for disaster to strike to act!

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