Whether you have a project you are working on or want to give someone a couple of photos, there are several scenarios where you find yourself in need of sharing files. Regardless of the file type you want to share, it is important to consider the safety of the methods you use.
In this post, we look at six essential tips that can help to keep your files safe and secure while sharing them.
What is File Sharing?
File sharing is a computer service that has multiple purposes. The main idea behind file sharing is to get a file or document from one device onto another.
This may involve sharing a file on a local network to ensure employees can access it or making a file publicly available for download.
Every day, more than 28 million people use P2P file-sharing methods to either upload or download files, according to TEXCIPIO. This is only a single type of file-sharing protocol, with many others that exist too.
Common Types of File Sharing
When understanding file sharing, it is important to ensure you know the different types of methods that exist. Therefore, we will take a closer look at the types of file-sharing technologies and methods commonly used today.
Peer to Peer (P2P)
The most popular type of file-sharing method is peer-to-peer, or P2P. The technology often segments files that are large into small pieces, which allows for faster transfer speeds. This method is often used with torrents. You must use a compatible P2P file-sharing software to take advantage of the method.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
FTP file sharing involves uploading files to a server and then downloading these files from another computer. A hosting service is required for FTP file sharing. This method is often also used when uploading files to a server to host a website.
Cloud storage has become very popular recently and takes advantage of fast servers that allow you to store files. Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are only two examples of these services.
Cloud storage allows you to keep data in the cloud and easily access it from anywhere. You can also get a link to a file and share it with someone else, who will then be able to download the file on their side.
Files can also be shared through emails. When you send an email, there is an option to add an attachment to the mail. This feature is often used to send documentation and other important files to someone specific.
Group emails can distribute one file to multiple recipients, which is useful in corporate environments.
A removable storage device, such as a USB flash drive or an SD card, can also share files. You can copy the files onto the drive and then hand the storage device to the person who requires the file.
Again, this type of physical file transfer method does not require an active connection.
Benefits of File Sharing
Several benefits come with the use of file-sharing technologies. Understanding these benefits can help you better understand why you should consider implementing the feature, either for personal or corporate needs.
First, file-sharing services make it easier to move large files from one device to another. This may include sending the file over a local network or to someone across the globe from you.
File sharing also makes collaboration much easier, especially with remote teams. It also reduces the need for a central file storage system in corporate environments, which can end up saving a business a large amount of money.
Dangers of File Sharing
While file sharing is beneficial, there are also certain dangers that you need to be wary of. When you share files with private and sensitive information, there is always the risk of the information being leaked. This can put you at risk for identity theft.
File sharing also brings about the risk of viruses and cyberattacks. This can cause your computer and other devices to become infected, possibly even giving cybercriminals access to your device.
In this case, you have to consider the possibility of malicious software being installed on your computer and criminals accessing details related to your accounts.
6 Tips For Safe and Secure File Sharing
If you need to use file sharing, there are several steps that you can take to make the process more secure. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind.
Use a VPN.
A VPN, or a virtual private network, is an effective defensive mechanism that helps to hide your location and IP address. Some software options include a firewall that can strengthen your defenses against attacks.
Create strong passwords.
The passwords you use for file-sharing services affect their vulnerability. Create strong passwords when you share confidential information.
Use multi-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication introduces security measures that require multiple steps to be completed before you can log into a website. Use this to ensure multiple authentications before you can access sensitive files.
Set expiration dates on files.
It is also useful to add an expiration date to files that contain sensitive data. This way, the file or folder is deleted at the specified date and time.
Limit file access.
Many file-sharing platforms allow you to restrict access to files. This way, only authorized individuals can open the file.
Review files before sending.
Another tip is to look closely at the files you want to send. Do this before you transfer files to consider the risks associated with the process.
How to Choose the Best File-Sharing Service
There are several file-sharing software and service options that you must choose from. These are the most important factors to keep in mind when you select a specific service provider:
Most online file-sharing platforms offer a free account with limited storage. Remember how much it costs to upgrade when you need more storage space.
Make sure the file-sharing solution you opt for uses advanced security measures and can add multi-factor authentication to your account.
You also must ensure the service you choose is compatible with the files you want to share and the devices you use.
Keep in mind any limitations that the service may impose on shared documents, such as not being able to limit access to specified individuals.
File sharing is a common way to send files from your device to someone else. It is a very useful method in the modern age, but it also comes with certain risks.
Therefore, choosing the right file-sharing service and method is crucial, as this can help to protect sensitive data.
Should your files with confidential data be leaked, consider signing up for identity theft protection. An identity theft protection service, such as IdentityIQ, helps protect your from cybercriminals using your information for their gain.