Exchanging information has become much more convenient through new technology, but it has also opened up this process to a whole new set of risks. The potential threats include invasion of privacy, exposing vulnerable information as well as damage to entire systems in worst-case scenarios. We are inevitably going to need to share files online since this method is so much faster and more cost-effective than the traditional ways of sharing information. But this does not mean that we can’t take steps towards more secure file sharing. There are ways to minimize the risks and make file-sharing as secure as possible. Here are a couple of general tips to keep in mind if you share files online regularly and want to make sure to do it securely.
Choose File-sharing Platforms with Caution
It’s also crucial to choose a platform that is easy to use. Going with overly complicated systems opens up a lot of room for human error- the most common cause for online mishaps and privacy issues. If the platform is too difficult to use and people find it confusing, it could easily compromise not only the individual but entire groups of people and even companies. Go with simple and reliable tools to simplify file-sharing and avoid huge problems caused by minor mistakes.
Use VPNs When Sharing Files and Information Online
Using encryption tools like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is one of the most effective ways to increase your online security and protect your files at the same time. VPNs encrypt your connection and prevent hackers from accessing your personal data. VPNs also conceal your location and other personal details while also keeping them hidden from the Internet Service Providers, which in most cases can easily access or even sell that data behind your back. Browsing the web through a VPN is always a better alternative, but it is especially important if you are sharing sensitive data and important files online.
Practice Caution with Permission Settings
While it is extremely convenient to share your files by adjusting the permission settings here and there, you should avoid relying too much on this practice. If you share a file with someone by giving them a public sharing link – the best thing to do is to follow up and change the permission settings back once your recipient has gotten all they need from the link. It’s an unnecessary risk
to keep your files as public pages, especially if the data is sensitive. If someone gains access to the link intentionally or manages to end up on your publicly shared link randomly, it could bring some serious consequences your way. To avoid such incidents, once the job is done and the person has gotten everything they need from the link, change the permission settings and make the file private again.
Audit Your Files
Stay ahead of the game and keep a close eye on your files. Among the other practices mentioned above, a good online security habit to ensure safe file-sharing is to run audits on your files. Running an audit means that you can see who is accessing the files, and you can prevent suspicious visitors from looking at your files by simply readjusting the settings as necessary. As a rule of thumb, if there is a way to keep private data away from large groups of people, even the ones you trust, you should do it. Running an audit regularly is the best preventative measure for safe file-sharing online.
When sharing files and important data online, it might seem tedious to adjust and readjust who has access to these files constantly, but this habit will keep you safer in the long run. You can use these practices separately, but using a combination of all these tips is the best way to keep your files secure and avoid the unintentional exposure of sensitive data or compromising your online safety.