The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Cloud For File Sharing
About 3.6 billion people use cloud services. It includes everything from uploading photos to iCloud or Google Photos to using business platforms like Dropbox and OneDrive and a whole lot more.
More than anything, many use the cloud for file sharing. Instead of email attachments, it makes it possible to share huge files from anywhere on earth.
But some things can put your security at risk when you use the cloud for file sharing. You can mitigate most risks by following the best practices of file sharing. It’ll ensure you always have a smooth and safe experience.
Do Start With a Cloud Strategy
Before using cloud computing, you need to create a strategy. Answer these questions to get a better idea of how to use cloud computing:
- What are your storage needs?
- What types of data are you uploading?
- What types of servers do you want to use?
- Do you need secure remote access?
- What are your contingency plans if a data breach occurs?
Don’t Use Email
Emails are not a secure way to share data. Receiver can forward the email without your knowledge or you could add the wrong recipient by chance. Moreover, people are always logged into their email accounts, and it’s easy for a third-party to access them. There’s almost zero protection for emails.
Don’t Upload Files in Plain Text
Uploading files in plain text is the standard form of uploading. When you do this, file contents are visible to everyone who opens the file. For one, cybercriminals can catch the data while you transfer them to the cloud. And they can also access them if your cloud account is somehow breached.
Do Use Encryption
What’s the opposite of plain text? That would be encrypted content. Be sure to encrypt all files before you upload them to the cloud. Most PDF readers and text processors enable encryption in the settings. For other file types, use a file encryption service (for example, download NordLocker for Mac) to encrypt and secure data. That way, only you or those you give access to can know what’s inside.
Don’t Be Afraid of Vendor Lock-in
Selecting a cloud service provider isn’t a marriage. If you’ve become unsatisfied for a reason, especially when that reason is security, don’t be afraid to take your business elsewhere. Before you commit to any platform, read the policies. And make sure you understand how to transfer your data when/if you need to.
Do Set Time Limits and Permissions
It’s always best to set a time limit on files even with trusted associates. That’s because you never know what could happen. Let’s say you grant file access to a colleague. If someone breaches their device, it puts your data in jeopardy. Use time limits, permissions, and other tools to track and control access.
Don’t Do it Alone
If you’re moving your business over to the cloud, then take some time to consult IT professionals. Even straightforward services have some tricky aspects.
You’re better off spending a little money to discuss and review options with trained IT staff to find the best option for you. In the process, you may even find more affordable options you never knew about before.
Do Train Yourself and Employees
In the same vein, cloud computing is meant to make things easier. But there’s a learning curve. It can take a while for some people to get the hang of it. Or there may be a suite of tools that can increase productivity you don’t know about.
Everybody can benefit from some lessons to help you best handle the cloud platform and embrace innovations in the future.
Don’t Be Too Selective
While cloud platforms aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, there are many similar providers. Most of them will provide related services for the same price. The most critical concern is security.
Make sure they have an outstanding reputation for safeguarding customer data. From there, check to see if they have the resources to scale with you and grow. That’s all you need to focus on.
Do Review Your Other Vulnerabilities
Even if you secure your cloud platform and the data connected to it, there are still other areas you need to keep secure. Take this opportunity to review cybersecurity throughout your organization. Do you have secure networking? If not, start using an enterprise-grade virtual private network service.
The same goes for everything else – from account security to anti-malware software and best digital hygiene practices. Get all employees up to speed to ensure safe computing across the board.
Cloud file sharing makes life so much easier. It’s the best way not only to share resources but also to collaborate on projects and achieve business goals. And securing cloud file sharing is simple too. All you need to do is follow the tips from this article.