10 Best Ways to Share Your Files Safely

File sharing technology makes it easy for people to share data with anyone, no matter where they are. While this is a relief for the work team, it provides an opportunity for cyber attackers to attack.

If you don’t protect your shared files from unauthorized access, there’s a good chance that cybercriminals will happily steal or expose them. You certainly don’t want that to happen.

So, here, we’re going to list the best file sharing practices to protect your data.

1. Adopt integrated file sharing software

Adopting an integrated file sharing solution or software is one of the best ways to protect your files from cyber attackers. The settings of the file sharing solution enable users to share files only within the software, not externally.

Using an integrated file sharing system prevents files from being sent to the wrong recipients because each user who is a team member has a dedicated user account.

The only downside is that most of these are paid software. Limited storage and usage is available for free for interested users, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, iCloud Drive, and more.

2. Avoid sharing files via email


In addition to losing files that can’t get into your inbox, email scams are also becoming more rampant.

One place hackers search for sensitive user information is in their victims’ emails. Since most people’s email passwords are weak, hacking into emails on a daily basis is almost effortless for cybercriminals. In addition, they attack ignorant victims by phishing via email, using infected links as a cover for files. Once users click on these links or download files, they fall into their trap.

To protect your organization from this scam, encourage your employees, not to email or receive files. Instead, they should implement file-sharing software that only internal team members can access.

3. Use a secure connection to share files

A network connection may initially involve two or more parties, but an intruder may infiltrate the network. Therefore, it is important to take this into account and protect your network with encryption technology.

A secure connection encrypts one or more security protocols, making it difficult for people to access it. When a network is not encrypted, it is exposed to anyone who knows how to hijack and threaten easily.

When there is no strong barrier to encrypt the network, cybercriminals can penetrate it and retrieve your sensitive information such as login credentials, financial records, passwords, and other private information.

4. Adopt secure cloud services


Secure cloud services provide an additional layer of data security. They offer better flexibility, accessibility, and capacity than traditional compute and storage methods. And, cloud computing is rapidly replacing traditional computing as a cornerstone for many businesses today.

Most cloud service providers actively maintain the integrity of their servers by adhering to standard security practices. These third-party vendors are responsible for managing the cloud service infrastructure, as well as the security and accountability of data assets.

5. Implement the archive file format

The archive file format is about stacking one or more files and metadata. You can combine multiple data files into one archive file for easy access and storage. It also allows you to compress files to take up less storage space.

Storing your data in an archival format prevents such data leaks or exposures. Since there are multiple files in the archive, it is difficult for scammers to quickly identify specific files.

6. Generate strong passwords


Weak passwords are the primary means used by cybercriminals to gain access to a victim’s account or network. They do this by guessing passwords or cracking them through brute force attacks.

Generating strong passwords should be part of your cybersecurity culture. You need to educate your team members about the importance and usefulness of using strong and secure passwords. Instead of using numbers, dates of birth, or events, they should choose passwords.

Memorizing a lot of passwords can be exhausting and lead to password fatigue. Make your team easier by employing an effective password management tool to take care of their password needs.

7. Limit the use of USB

To protect your sensitive data and general work files, it is forbidden to use USB on your network. And that’s because it’s easy to transfer information, files, and data in a swipe with a USB or flash drive.

Another reason you should ban the use of USBs in your organization is to prevent viruses or corrupted files from being transferred to your network. You don’t know where these devices have been or what they’ve been infected with. Using a virus-infected USB can completely destroy your data and there is no chance to recover it.

8. Choose an easy-to-use file-sharing system

While sharing files within your organization using the latest technology or software may seem like a good idea, don’t trade it for simplicity. If you and your team can’t use a complex file-sharing system without help, guidance, or training, it’s no use.

If the file sharing system is difficult to use, your data may be lost in it and you will not be able to recover it. While trying to navigate the system, it is also possible to accidentally send sensitive information to the wrong person.

9. Use a reliable VPN when sharing files


With virtual private network (VPN) technology, users can send and receive content over a shared or open internet connection, just as their devices are connected to a private network. This benefits regional offices or remote employees who need remote access to data and files from a central system or database at Headquarters.

There are extensive, trusted VPNs such as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, Torguard VPN, NordVPN, and more. Also, if you use a file-sharing solution or a service like DropBox, you don’t need to buy an external VPN service because they offer a VPN alternative. This makes it cost-effective.

10. Double-check the links before clicking

Another simple but very effective file-sharing security practice is to always double-check before clicking on a link. Although this may seem simple, ignoring it can have huge data loss consequences.

Cultivate business etiquette and educate your colleagues and employees about how important this simple business activity is. Carefully checking it before clicking on a link can prevent cyber hijacking and hacking. Often, hackers mask links with suspicious links that can instantly take control of your business files or even logins.

Prevent cyber attacks with secure file sharing practices

File sharing is inevitable for collaboration. As long as two or more people work together, they need to share files, especially when they’re in different places. However, keeping their files safe is their responsibility.

Cultivating secure file sharing practices is a sure way to avoid falling prey to overzealous cybercriminals who are waiting for the slightest chance of attack.