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Online File Sharing
Online file sharing is a term that can be loosely applied to a variety of internet file storage and sharing solutions, including file hosting, file sharing websites, and file sharing programs. It allows businesses to give employees flexible and convenient access to professional files from a variety of locations and devices, making collaboration and expansion easier than ever. This business data solution is very popular today, but companies sometimes have difficulty finding a way to implement it securely.
When you share files online you place the security and control of your data in the hands of a third party, and you allow it to be uploaded and downloaded outside of your own firewalls and IT department protection. If your files are not sensitive in nature then this may pose no problem at all. However, most professionals have a need to share and store more sensitive files safely and in accordance with laws governing customer information. Most online file sharing cannot promise compliance with important laws like HIPAA, try as they might. If you want to use online file sharing, it is very important to thoroughly understand all of the terms and conditions your provider makes available. When you are armed with the knowledge of how each particular service works to assist you with sharing and protecting your information, you can make the best decision for your particular situation.
File Sharing Sites
There are a large variety of file sharing sites available today, all of which offer services and security of essentially the same quality. These sites own and maintain public servers which they keep in various locations, and that is where they store customer data.
Five of the most popular websites used for file sharing are:
These sites can all offer very affordable file sharing options with scalable storage that can grow as you create and save more files, but what you save in dollars you pay for in security risks.
Generally, when you want to share files on these websites, you do so by generating share links which allow the recipient of the URL to view or download the material. These links can be sent in an email, posted on a website, sent via text, etc.
It is very convenient and simple to use, but the problem lies in the fact that they are very difficult to secure. If one of your employees places that link on a website, it becomes available to anyone who visits and clicks. Any person who receives one of these links can also forward it to someone else without the permission or knowledge of the original sender.
This can pose an incredible risk to files that your company would prefer to remain private. Furthermore, if one of these links is accessed on a non-company computer, that URL is saved in the web browser and can be easily recovered by anyone else who uses it afterward. It’s very difficult to erase traces of files once they have been sent outside of your corporate firewalls, and it effectively removes them from the control of your IT department and security measures.
For files that are not sensitive in nature, this may not be an issue, but it’s tough to ensure that only harmless files are being shared this way. If you choose to utilize a file sharing site, be sure that they provide top-quality encryption, a zero-knowledge storage environment, and stringent security measures that are regularly updated. These are not a guarantee of your data safety, but it is the best you can do with public servers.
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