The Internet is not a safe place. If you have stumbled upon this article, you probably realize that trusting cyberspace with your confidential information isn’t always a wise decision. Yet, life doesn’t stop just because of risk. So, here are some basic tips for sending confidential information.
1. Know Your Permissions (and Use Them Wisely)
Permissions are the settings you have on your computer, cloud drive and/or document sharing devices that determine who has permission to access your documents and to what extent they can share or edit them.
With certain cloud and file sharing platforms, there are a variety of ways you can use permissions to keep your users and your sensitive information safe. Whatever platform you choose, you should always make sure you have the options of password-protected share links, expiration dates and download limits when it comes to file sharing.
The golden rule of permissions is less (access) is more. You can always change the permissions later, but it is better to ensure that the recipient only has access to what they legitimately need. This is especially important for the workplace in the era of company data breaches.
2. Don’t Leave the Key Lying Around
When in doubt, it is always a good idea to password-protect your documents when sharing via consumer cloud tools, social media, email or chat platforms. But just as banks won’t mail your ATM card and pin number in the same envelope, make sure you aren’t sharing the password in the same email.
What should you do? First, do not specify how you will be sending the password. A simple “you will receive the password today” message will suffice. Then, for ultimate security, call or text the candidate (or another preferred method) with the password.
3. URL Sharing is Your Friend
When using instant messenger apps such as Slack or Facebook Messenger, URL sharing is a way to keep sensitive information or documents out of your message feed. If your account is hacked, then the hacker won’t have direct access to the information.
When creating a URL, ensure the document is password protected. Typically, this could be either adjusting the settings to “password-protect shares.”
4. Find An Easy, Secure File Sharing Platform
The easiest way to send confidential information is to have a file sharing platform that does the heavy lifting for you. Here are some basic features to look for in this type of platform:
- Encryption at rest and in transfer ensures your information isn’t liable in transit or while sitting in your account. To best do this, go with an on-prem file sharing solution.
- User permissions can help establish who has access to download or share content. Remember, always use the least amount of privilege. Always better to add later, than have your information compromised
- Password protection is an absolute must when sharing documents via email. Whether that is directly emailing a password-protected PDF or a protected URL, always use a password as a gatekeeper to your information.
- Activity logs are sometimes found with certain robust file sharing platforms. If you plan to share confidential information related to taxes, business, or medical records an activity log can show who accessed the information and at what time.
Sending confidential information is important, but it shouldn’t be hard. SmartFile is the go-to solution for enterprises to small businesses for secure file management.
Solutions for Sending Confidential Information
If you’re looking for a smarter way for sending confidential information, check our SmartFile’s on-premises and cloud solutions below.
Want Cloud Storage?
Your files are stored safely on SmartFile’s cloud servers, cutting both hard and soft costs.
Need Enhanced Security?
FileHub™, our enhanced file server, sits behind your firewall and lets you encrypt files at rest.
“We choose SmartFile because it is user-friendly, easy to setup, quick, efficient and customizable. SmartFile has made sharing files with our contacts, clients, consultants and between associates a whole lot quicker and easier.”
— Thanh Ly, Senior Database Administrator, Albert A Webb Associates