8 Best Practices for Secure File Sharing

8 Best Practices for Secure File Sharing

Written by Moli Mishra, In Technology, Published On
November 30, 2022
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In the age of technology, virtually every aspect of our daily lives is dependent on it. So it is no surprise that it has become crucial for businesses to share information and data on a timely basis to thrive. For tasks to be completed effectively and conveniently, an organization’s teams must be equipped with the right information. It’s for this reason that businesses rely heavily on file sharing.

In recent years, technological advancements have made it easier to share files. However, with technological advancement, the risk of bad guys exploiting vulnerabilities in the system also increases. In the absence of a secure file-sharing practice, an organization can suffer a great deal of damage. Furthermore, file-sharing without security makes the system susceptible to a man-in-the-middle attack or malware installation.

8 Best Practices for Secure File Sharing

Secure File Sharing

So, to keep your business files safe and secure during sharing, follow these practices.

  • Minimize the use of USBs

The use of USBs as a means of transferring files is very popular. The only way to ensure USBs’ security is to ensure they are not lost. Just think, do you know exactly how many USBs are lying around in your neighborhood? That’s how easily one can be lost. Sadly, if the USB gets lost, you won’t know where it will end up or in whose hands. A malicious person can easily access and misuse the data or information if they get their hands on it. Therefore, to prevent any file sharing problems, it is best that you avoid using USBs in the first place, and if you must use them, keep them safe at all times.

  • Use VPNs

As flexible working becomes more popular, employees no longer have to be confined to the office. Employees who elect to work in public places are more likely to use insecure public networks. Remote workers can’t control where they work, but you can educate them about the importance of connecting to these networks via a VPN.

Using a VPN, you can transfer data securely over the internet. By doing this, hackers cannot access what’s being transferred. Moreover, VPNs come in handy when sending large videos or other files. The file size can be hidden from your ISP using a VPN.

  • Create strong passwords

Using a file-sharing solution with password protection is something you should discuss with your team. Data security cannot be ensured if your passwords are easy to guess and simple. By using strong passwords, you can prevent unauthorized people from accessing your files. Likewise, make the password long enough to ensure security by using various upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers. You should also use multi-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the files. You may also use something the user only has access to, such as a text to their mobile phone for accessing data.

  • Take advantage of cloud-based solutions

File-sharing solutions provide a secure platform for storing files and allowing access from anywhere. Therefore, sharing files between users is no longer necessary. Depending on your permission settings, you can restrict access to these files. Your permissions are completely under your control, and you will be notified if anyone violates them. As a result, you can easily control who has access to the files and who can make changes to them. Additionally, the information remains encrypted, enhancing its security.

  • Make sure your team knows how to share files securely

It can be easy to neglect secure file-sharing practices due to busy schedules and overwhelming pressure to deliver. Nevertheless, mistakes of this kind can be costly. Educate your team about secure file sharing so that such events don’t happen. Make sure they understand the consequences of mishandling the information. Your organization can classify data and explain the level of security needed for each class.

You also need to ensure that the entire team is well-trained in using the file-sharing software. When this is not done, employees will rely on their own knowledge, which is unlikely to be in line with your organization’s secure file-sharing policy.

  • Do not share files via email

Email scams and phishing attempts are becoming increasingly widespread, and not only does it result in losing files that won’t reach the intended recipient.

Hackers often look in their victims’ emails to find sensitive information. Since most people have weak email passwords, cybercriminals can easily hack their emails. Furthermore, they use email phishing to spread infected links as files to their ignorant victims. Immediately after the user clicks the link or downloads the file, they fall into their traps.

Encourage your employees not to send or receive files via email to prevent your organization from becoming a victim of this scam. To do this, the company should implement a file-sharing program that its employees can only access.

  • Put a format for archives in place

The archive file format stacks one or more files with metadata. You can combine multiple data files into a single archive file. To easily access and store multiple data files, you can combine them into a single archive file. In addition, you can compress files to reduce their size on your computer and the amount of space they take up.

By archiving your data, you prevent leaks and exposure to such information. Scammers will have difficulty identifying a particular file in an archive file when multiple files are included.

  • Be careful when clicking on links

Double-checking links before clicking on them is another highly effective file-sharing security practice. Despite its simplicity, neglecting it could result in significant data loss.

Teach your coworkers and employees the importance of this simple business activity to cultivate business etiquette. Closely inspecting links before clicking on them can prevent hacking and hijacking of networks. A hacker can easily take over your business files or even your login credentials by masking links with dubious links.

Final Words

The sharing of files is an essential part of a collaboration. If two or more people work together, they need to share files, especially if they are located at different locations. In any case, it’s their duty to protect their files. When it comes to avoiding malicious cybercriminals, you must cultivate safe practices when sharing files.

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