There are many, many ways to share files. Just Google it and you’ll find sites that offer free signups for storing and sharing files, others that offer one-time anonymous file shares and even companies who provide on-prem appliances to take care of storage, connection and sharing.

But what if you are a small business who wants to be sure they’re sharing files safely but don’t need something as large as an appliance? The perfect middle for you will be an enterprise cloud file sharing platform that makes sharing easy and adds on security and transparency for you to track and monitor your files.

What’s a Private File Transfer?

private file transfer

Any and all definitions seemingly can apply to private file transfer or private file sharing, but our definition is a file transfer tool that offers the ease of a consumer cloud tool with the security of an enterprise one.

Features that should be found in a private file transfer tool can range in security and safety, from allowing a manager to select certain people in a group to share files with up to tracking and oversight for IT staff. It can also include randomly generated share links, password-protected share links, user roles, permissions, expiration dates, encryption and activity logs.

Randomly Generated Share Links

Randomly generated share links take their protections from several factors. They are completely random (meaning a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that are unlikely to be guessed) and would be unlikely to be replicated anywhere else.

This is important because if files are not password-protected and the website hosting the files and share links does not tell Google to avoid crawling their site, then it is very possible the documents, images or files contained within could be made public. Always make sure that the site you use has told Google not to crawl the domain of their file shares.

Another is that the control and distribution of the link is up to the individual who creates it. Keep reading to find out the different ways a manager or employee can keep share links private.

Password-Protected Share Links

As discussed above, if you are using a share link to send a file, you always risk having it be made public, even if the risk is small. To ensure that your file cannot be accessed, even if it somehow was made public, you need to make it password-protected.

You should have the option to either make your own password or have one randomly generated for you. This way, if the link is sent in error or someone else tries to open the link, they will be unable to access it without the password.

The sender’s role is to choose or make a good password and then keep it protected.

Expiration Dates & Download Limits

Here’s another important thing to look for — expiration dates. This is a sort of a self-destruct mechanism but for files. Simply choose how long you’d like your file to be available and your coworker or client will only be able to access it for that long.

After that, your file vanishes from their account and they are no longer able to access it.

Another way to lessen the unintentional dissemination of your files is to set a download limit. Choose how many times your users can download the document and you’re set.

Activity Logs

If your file sharing method is something akin to blowing on a dandelion and watching the seeds scatter, then go ahead and share however you want.

If you often send files that are sensitive or confidential, you should never use a one-and-done share link site. One of the top reasons is that you don’t know what happens after you hit send.

Did you intended recipient get it? Did they download it? Did someone else receive it? You can’t track any of these activities in a temporary file hosting site. But in a cloud platform built for enterprise, like SmartFile, you can look at the date, time, location and IP address to make sure your files are going to the right places.

A Private File Transfer Platform for Your Needs

You can never truly prevent someone like a fiendish coworker from spreading around a file, but you can certainly lessen the chance of it. With good judgment and the right tools like a private file transfer platform, you can ensure that your files stay secure and always in the right hands.

Interested in seeing how a private file transfer platform works? Click here to try it out free for 14 days.

Private File Transfer Through SmartFile

Looking to try a tool to help you with private file transfer? Give SmartFile a try for 14 days, no credit card required.

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About Jennifer Yeadon

I am the Content Marketer at SmartFile, which means I get to learn everything and write about it -- my two favorite things. I firmly believe that oatmeal cookies should contain chocolate chips, not raisins.

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