File sharing is one of the most valuable technologies that allow for communication, collaboration, and easy access to information, regardless of location. Despite the benefits, it also comes with its risks. These include wrongful sharing of sensitive data and cyber-attacks from downloading malicious software.
Using file-sharing applications that require you to shut off your firewall also puts your systems at risk of security and data breaches. To enjoy the ultimate benefits of file-sharing technology, you need to make the process as safe as possible. Below are seven tips to help you share your files more securely.
1. Send Files Over a Secure Connection
One of the best ways to ensure safety when sharing files is through a secure connection. Always choose end-to-end encryption to avoid unauthorized access by hackers or third parties. By using end-to-end encryption, only the people you share the files with will see them. On the same note, you should be cautious when using public Wi-Fi to send sensitive files as cybercriminals can easily hack into the network and access your data or information.
2. Avoid Using Email for Important Files
Email is the most popular means of sharing files and communicating as they are quick and easy to use. However, you should avoid sharing files with confidential information via email as the platform does not guarantee safety. Hackers can easily compromise email accounts and jeopardize the security of your files and data. Emails are also unreliable and untraceable as you have no way of knowing when the recipient successfully downloads a file or how many times your email has been shared. Large files also tend to bounce back due to size limits on attachments.
3. Use Strong Passwords to Encrypt your Files
With the current technology, you can protect your files and using passwords. While it may sound like a no-brainer, (buy glasses online), you should use a strong password to encrypt your files and keep them away from prying eyes. To ensure you share your files more securely, use a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters to create a password that is difficult to guess. Also, don’t use the same password for all your accounts, and change your passwords frequently.
4. Update Your Security Software
Always ensure that your security software is up to date by downloading new updates whenever they are available. Updates are usually more secure and more effective at protecting your systems and network. This is because developers upgrade the software by fixing bugs and security loopholes present in previous versions. By updating your security software, you reduce your vulnerability due to vulnerabilities in outdated versions. You also avoid passing viruses from your outdated software to your files’ recipients.
5. Avoid Using USBs
Although USBs seem like the best options for transferring files between devices due to their portability, they are not safe. Avoid using USB drives for data transfer whenever possible, as they can easily pick up malicious infections and pass them to the device you plug them in. Also, due to their small sizes, you can lose them easily, putting your files and data at risk of falling into the wrong hands. If you have to use a USB to share files, it is advisable to run them through antivirus or anti-spyware to ensure it is safe.
6. Choose a Secure File Sharing Solution
The ultimate way to achieve safe file sharing is by using a secure file sharing solution instead of risky channels like emails or USB drives. There are numerous file-sharing platforms to choose from, depending on your needs, such as Dropbox, Egnyte, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.
Most of these platforms offer features such as web editing and remote access to your files. When choosing the best service for your file transfer, consider the price, security, compatibility with your devices, and data storage limitations. Note that you don’t have to pay for the services if they are for personal use, as most file-sharing solutions offer free options.
7. Be Careful On the Links You Click
Clicking suspicious or malicious links can introduce malware to your device or put your files at risk of unauthorized access. Before clicking on links, especially in emails, hover over them to establish what they are about and check them carefully before downloading any file. If you are suspicious of a website link, manually type it into your search engine. Since it may be hard to ascertain whether a file or link is safe to click or download, you should listen to your gut instinct. Avoid interacting with links or attachments if they look suspicious or you can’t verify them.
The above tips can help you secure your file sharing and protect your data from unauthorized access. To help you understand more about cybersecurity, consider using the benefits of the GI Bill to sign up for cybersecurity or coding classes.