File sharing websites can help small business owners complete projects and interact with partners and clients more effectively. Instead of emailing a document back and forth between several people, for instance, 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. Use the following tips to protect your files.
Control User Activity
Many file sharing websites allow you to set individual user controls, such as giving permissions to view, edit, or delete documents. When using a service like Box, keep track of all users and their permission levels. 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. A co-admin on Box, for instance, can access other users’ accounts and change or download data. 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.
Choose Your File Sharing Service Carefully
Dozens of file sharing programs exist, but only the 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 specifically 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 and permissions as well as public documents.
However, remember that you still bear some of the responsibility for data security. 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.
Implement File-Based Encryption
Instead of relying on the encryption offered by a file sharing service, consider encrypting all of your files internally before you share 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.
You can find file-based encryption services for any platform, from Windows desktop computers to Android phones and tablets. Look for a program that lets you encrypt multiple files at one time so you can save time.
File security should rank as one of your top priorities. Without adequate security, you could lose trade secrets or compromise confidential client information. Follow the above tips to use file sharing websites and related tools without jeopardizing your security.