File Sharing Without Jeopardising Your Online Security
Sending and receiving files can be convenient, but it can also put you at risk of security issues. To ensure your data remains secure, follow these seven tips when doing file sharing online.
File-sharing websites can help small business owners complete projects and interact with partners and clients more effectively. For example, instead of emailing a document back and forth between several people, you can assign users permission to edit certain documents so that the changes are reflected universally.
However, you don’t want a file-sharing website to jeopardize your security. This business blog has tips to protect your files.
- Use an Encrypted File-Sharing Platform
- Implement Transparency with Recipients
- Set Access Rules for Sharing Files
- Limit the Lifespan of Links You Share Online
- Add Double Authentication to Your Account Settings
Use an Encrypted File-Sharing Platform
Wherever possible, use an encrypted file-sharing platform. An encrypted service adds an extra layer of security to your files by scrambling the data as it travels over the network — making it unreadable to anyone without the necessary encryption key or password. The best cloud storage providers offer encryption options for a safer experience when sharing files online.
However, instead of relying on the encryption offered by a file-sharing service, consider encrypting your files internally before sharing them with others. A file-based encryption system gives you maximum control over your data and can provide peace of mind. Additionally, it doesn’t depend on a third party to protect sensitive information.
Implement Transparency with Recipients
Another way to ensure a secure file-sharing process is to ensure both the sender and recipient are aware of what is being sent. This can be done by adding notes or descriptions within the online file-sharing platform itself and making sure everyone involved in the exchange knows what information will be sent and who will have access to it. This practice increases visibility for everyone and promotes a safer environment for sharing confidential data.
Control User Activity – Set Access Rules
Many file-sharing websites allow you to set individual user controls, such as giving permission to view, edit, or delete documents. If you have to terminate an employee or end a relationship with a client, mark that person’s account as “inactive” instead of deleting the account entirely. Don’t let users change their usernames without administrative approval.
Additionally, avoid giving users access to other users’ accounts. When you assign a co-admin role to another person, make sure you fully trust him or her and that the expansive permissions prove necessary for his or her role in your organization.
As much as possible, set access rules for your online file-sharing platform. You don’t want anyone other than the intended recipient to have access to sensitive or personal information — even unintentionally — and you need to be able to control who has that access.
Access rules can include:
- Specifications such as expiration dates after which the file is no longer retrievable
- A requirement for strong passwords
- Encryption tools and firewall settings
Choose Your File Sharing Service Carefully
Though dozens of file-sharing programs exist, only top-tier options offer adequate security for small business owners. Before you start sharing documents and other files, check the terms and conditions provided by the company. Look for information about the security measures it takes to protect your data.
Business News Daily staff writer Sara Angeles recommends using a business-class service instead of one meant for consumers. These programs generally have more security features, such as encryption and multi-step verification. Additionally, Angeles notes that business-grade services offer more control over your data. You can control items like user access, permissions, and public documents.
However, remember that you still bear some data security responsibility. The file-sharing service can protect its own infrastructure, but the users is generally responsible for protecting data once they enter the system. Training your employees on best practices and setting appropriate permissions can help keep your business safe.
Add Multi-Factor Authentication To Your Account Settings
Adding multi-factor authentication (MFA) to your account, helps ensure that no one else can access your assets without entering a unique password or using your phone number. This type of security layer gives you peace of mind that no one else can access your online accounts without permission.
File security should rank as one of your top priorities. You could lose trade secrets or compromise confidential client information without adequate security. Follow the above tips to use file-sharing websites and related tools without jeopardizing your security.