If your firm has shifted to a remote work model, these secure file sharing tips will help you keep your confidential client data safe.
The number of remote workers is on the rise, with the number of people working remotely in the US having grown by a whopping 44% in the space of just five years. And with this rise, comes the need to remotely access large assets and files on one centralised platform. Online file sharing systems like Dropbox have stepped up to the plate, streamlining and speeding up the once daunting process of sharing large files, making communication both in-house and in distributed workplaces super easy and foolproof!
That said, you ought to know that online file sharing can be risky business, thanks to the dangers of cybercrime. As such, you need to ensure that you deploy the very best secure file sharing practices as you collaborate to protect your team and your business. Let us look at a few simple ways to do this.
Choose a secure platform
The online sharing of files enhances the privacy of the files and protects them from unauthorised access. However, this process is also quite prone to cybercrime as using an insecure platform could lead to a breach by cybercriminals who can steal files and confidential data. This not only compromises the privacy of data, but the criminals can even use the files for financial gain.
As a rule of thumb, businesses ought to simplify file server access with secure file sharing in order to protect their data storage and those on transit. You should start by picking the right tool to ensure your data is always protected.
• Make sure that you use this method in tandem with other proven methods of tightening the security of files. For instance, you can use a Virtual Private Network to enhance security in file sharing.
• Practice password security as you collaborate in a remote workplace. Weak passwords are a loophole that can be used in cyber attacks. Encourage your employees to use strong passwords as they share files. It will also help if you have employees change their passwords periodically to ensure you are on top of this face of security.
Evaluate the best file-sharing tools
There are many tools in the market, but not all are the best fit for any business type. Make certain that you evaluate the tool you pick to ensure it meets your business needs. For example, verify that the speed of the platform is fast enough, plus it should be easy and user friendly to reduce the learning curve for your team.
Tip: Ask for a demo or trial to test out the file-sharing tool before you buy.
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Train your employees
Any online file-sharing platform will only be effective if your employees know how to use it. You will need to ensure that all your remote team can easily access and use the platform. This is only possible if you offer proper training to them before deploying the platform fully. Don’t forget to train your employees on cybercrime and the importance of protecting the data. There is a lot you should cover in your training, one of them being in matters relating to document management and notification procedures. Employees should know what to do in the event of file errors or just about anything suspicious as they share files in the workplace.
Cybersecurity training may cost you extra, but it will be worth it. In the end, it should boost teamwork and efficacy at work. It will also keep your business secure.
Define file-naming format
You need to ensure consistency in your files. One way to do so is to have a criterion for naming files to make files accessible and identifiable by all your employees. We recommend defining a consistent naming system across all your remote employees. It should be descriptive and business-related. For instance, instead of naming a file for your June book sales as ‘sales’, consider naming it as ‘June 2020 – Book sales’.
Tip: File names in business shouldn’t be too long. Around 25 characters or so will do.
Establish a good filing system
A good filing system enhances the smooth running of a remote business. Ensure that you establish a simple and easy to use filing system, and be certain to cover this as you train your employees. They should all know how to arrange files neatly for easy access and retrievability. Encourage your employees to assemble related files into a single folder. They should also store files immediately other than letting them sit around, as this would make your storage untidy and cluttered.
Tip: As for the files that you only occasionally use, ensure that they are stored separately at a location that is easy to access.
Sort your files
Try to go through your files at least once every week. Check to confirm that all of them are in the right places. Arrange them occasionally to keep them neat and tidy. Do not let your devices overflow with files. You should also delete the unnecessary ones to avoid cluttering. Most people don’t know this but digital clutter is a big cybersecurity problem. Think of it this way: it can be hard to maintain access control and keep confidential information secure if you have files scattered all over the place. For example, employees might even leave your company and still have access to your critical files!
Research has found that digital clutter tends to be more of a problem with generation Z. They now make up most of the working population which means that you have to be wary of this problem.
Sorting your files from time to time is actually one of the best ways to familiarise yourself with them. This way, you will keep improving your file management in your enterprise.
Tip: You should create proper file management policies for your business to avoid file security issues. Again, remember that your employees make up one of your lines of defense when it comes to protecting you. In other words, make sure that they are well on board.
Secure file sharing will make online collaboration much easier for your remote teams – and give you peace of mind that your confidential data is safe. It all starts with picking the right tool to help you share these files securely and arrange them to make it easy for your remote team.
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