Regardless of your profession, you're likely to store sensitive information on your computer, whether it's tax forms, legal documents or customer information. If these files are not well protected, they will not be kept private for long. Believe it or not, you may be taking actions without knowing it that will put your files at risk. We will tell you what you may be doing wrong, the right solutions, and some additional steps you can take to make sure you maintain control of who sees your files.
It's natural that file security is not always first in your mind, and even more difficult when you have a company with multiple employees. In an effort to work quickly and efficiently, employees often ignore security. The most basic solution to this problem is to educate your employees about file security, but there are more specific solutions that you can apply to particular situations.
Send information in an email
Sharing clear text files via email is a very common practice, and it is not a problem until confidential information is included in an email that is so easy to exploit. In fact, 54% of employees use a personal email based on the Web to transfer confidential files.
While it is important to be able to share files with clients and collaborators, you can do so without compromising security by using a file sharing service. File sharing allows you to store your files on a network while controlling who accesses the file and its level of accessibility. Some services also allow you to control how long the person can access the file with outdated and password protected links.
Transferring information to a USB
USB can be excellent for storing and transferring information temporarily, but when transferring unencrypted text documents to a generic USB, this can create a vulnerability. The flash drive can get corrupted with malware, which causes the loss and possible theft of files. Worse, the USB can transmit a virus to other computers, allowing the hacker to steal and modify files. USBs are also physically small, which makes them easy to lose or steal.
To deny the need to transfer files using a flash drive, use a cloud service such as Dropbox. These allow you to access your files from any device while keeping them safe for you. However, this does not mean you can relax: you must still follow the best practices for passwords and set up two-factor authentication for any cloud service account. For the most sensitive files, you must also encrypt them before storing them in the cloud, just to provide an additional layer of protection.
Downloading information to a public unit
This is a common way to allow employees to view files from their own devices, it creates several problems in terms of organization and security. Being organized, as we will see later, is an essential part of keeping documents safe, but when many employees use the same unit, things can get dirty quickly. Although there is some security in the form of restricted access, these services are open to viruses and user errors.
With cloud services, there is a much higher level of security and control when it comes to file sharing. Some cloud services will encrypt your files for you, while they also run regular sweep security controls. In addition, it is still easy to share documents and access them on different devices.
The security issues mentioned above can be remedied by the cautious use of a cloud service, but even with that service, there are some additional steps you must take to ensure that your security is as close as possible . impenetrable as possible.
How will you make sure your documents are secure without even knowing where those documents are stored? Organization and efficiency are key, so the first step you should take to protect your files should be to identify what information should be protected. In that way, all your time, energy and other resources can be used to protect and maintain total control over those files.
Create a secure password
If you use a cloud service, you must create an account with a password. Your enemy here is a computer, not a human, and computers are very, very good at guessing the passwords that humans can memorize. For this reason, do yourself a favor and use a password manager. The most secure passwords are long and random, with many special characters, and it's a pretty safe bet that you can not memorize them, especially if you use a different password for everything, which you should do. When you use a password service, all you have to memorize is your master password, which should also be hard to decipher and should exist only in your mind.
Encrypt your data
If everything else fails and a hacker manages to get all your information information, encryption guarantees that they can not make sense of a single word. Best of all, encryption services such as VeraCrypt and Bitlocker (which are actually integrated in Windows) are absolutely free. This, like all the tips on this list, will not guarantee the security of your files, but will add an extra layer of protection that potential invaders will have to work to take off.
Unfortunately, there is no global cybersecurity solution, and the field is changing as technology grows and develops. Although the complete security of your confidential files is not always guaranteed, cloud services can address many potential problems. However, you should consider the possible problems, accumulate your protections and treat the information as the precious burden that it is.
This is a sponsored publication for Dropbox. All are my opinions. Dropbox is not affiliated with or endorses any other product or service mentioned.