Safe and Secure File Sharing Options
In many instances, you will need to safely and securely send files or documents to a friend, a client or a colleague in situations where you cannot meet and hand over the file personally to them.
These days, there are several online cloud services options to pick from to help you transfer files. The good thing about it all is; many of them are free of charge and ready to use. Read on and discover some of the file-sharing options that are convenient, suitable, and, more importantly, helpful in maintaining the safety and security of files being shared.
What’s File Sharing?
File sharing is a public or private data transmission in a network with set permission levels.
File sharing allows other people to access or download digital information or resources. It disseminates data, such as multimedia files (audio/video), computer graphics, pictures and e-reading materials, with predetermined sharing rights.
There are tons of platforms through which file-sharing can be done. To aid in the distribution, storage, and transfer of files, the following are the commonest techniques used;
Types of File Sharing
This is the oldest and viral file transfer program invented to enable users to share files over the internet. Commonly referred to as FTP, this system is used to access or edit files among particular users who have set a password that allows the user to access the files transmitted from an FTP server site.
A good example is Firefox; this program is suitable for sharing large files and primarily offers public sharing.
Peer-to-Peer networking works well regardless of whether there’s a central server or not. The only necessities are computer hardware and software to transfer files. In this type of file sharing, a sharer needs to specify the source computer of the shared file and its target computer. Skype and instant messaging are good examples of file sharing and distribution over P2P networks.
This involves physical devices that can be plugged in and plugged out of a computer or other device.
All you need to do is identify the files you need to transfer, copy them to an external hard drive, USB thumb drive or memory card, and physically hand it to the recipient or whomever the files are being shared with.
Sometimes, an FTP server may ask for login passwords for security purposes.
This includes web to web services that enable users to store or share data over the internet. The files could be for personal or professional consumption; it doesn't matter.
For instance, a person may upload pictures, documents or PDFs to an online sharing platform and provide a link to access the files by downloading them. Dropbox serves as an excellent example of this kind of file-sharing service.
Cloud storage must be the most secure file-sharing system, especially for businesses sharing classified documents. Data, in advanced form, is held in a space called a data room. It can also provide a shared team workspace with various ways to protect its data, such as watermarks.
Risks Associated with File Sharing
File sharing is fantastic and all, but with it comes some unseen dangers lurking around, from hackers gaining unauthorized access to your files to downloading files infected with viruses and malware. These are only some of the risks you should be cautious about and ensure you maintain the safety and security of files being shared across the web.
These risks include;
Downloading a file that has been contaminated with malware.
Importance of File Sharing
As much as costs are incurred and risks involved in file sharing, its benefits are more significant. A sound file sharing option is based on an organized and easy-to-use system.
Some of the file sharing benefits include;
Safe and Secure File Sharing Options
When choosing file sharing options or services, there are factors to consider. These factors include;
Discussed below are some of the safe, and secure file sharing options, to help you pick the one that’s most suitable for you.
Being a cloud-sharing service-based program, Box is great for businesses. Users have the power to choose how they would like to share their data with others.
A user may upload a file to a shared folder with different permission levels, then invite their colleagues to view and edit the shared file.
This program has advanced security controls, complete information governance, and end-to-end encryption, thus guaranteeing security.
Resilio is a peer-to-peer file synchronization tool available for major operating systems. It syncs files across local networks or between devices connected remotely over the internet.
There are no restrictions on the amount of data to be synced at a given time. However, there’s a limit to the data storage capacity on individual devices.
SSH (Secure Socket Shell)
SSH or secure socket shell was designed to help administrators secure remote computer access. SSH is a network protocol that connects an SSH client application with an SSH server and can send data such as passwords in plaintext and a secure and end-to-end encrypted format.
SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)
SFTP or secure file transfer protocol is one of the secure file sharing options. SSH and FTP ( File Transfer Protocol) differ because SFTP maintains a secure connection when transferring files. An SFTP can also transmit files on both the local and remote systems. It is preferable due to its advanced security features and the ability to draw onto an SSH connection.
Tresorit ensures the enhancement of security and data encryption for businesses and individuals. It is an online cloud storage service that encrypts files using client-side encryption before uploading them.
The pieces of encrypted and uploaded directories are usually referred to as ‘tresors.'
Tresorit boats of its end-to-end encryption feature that enables users to share protected files, work on them as a team, and maintain the safety and security of files being transferred and synced.
IPFS (Interplanetary File System)
IPFS is a designed network meant to facilitate the storage and sharing of hypermedia in a file-sharing system like P2P.
IPFS strives to link together all devices with the same file system.
It functions in a manner that resembles the web and mimics systems like Resilio, which exchange data or files in an encrypted format.
IPFS also transmit clusters of data through peer-to-peer networks in tamper-proof formats.
Dropbox is also a cloud storage service that offers file harmonization and personal and professional software.
Dropbox enables a user to create a folder on their computer and then transfer files to a Dropbox server for others to use
Amazon Drive is a global leader in cloud file sharing provision and offers a variety of storage options. This cloud drive is quite simplified and easy to use.
Amazon Drive provides 5GB storage free of charge for its users and a variety of yearly paid plans.
Users can enjoy unlimited photo storage and can create shared albums. However, though excellent for sending small files and photo storing, this service lacks management choices.
OneDrive is an inbuilt component application feature in some of the windows systems. It only requires users to verify their Microsoft account before synchronizing their data.
This secure file sharing option is interdependent with the Microsoft Office Suite products and stores data expressly to the cloud. Users also enjoy the privilege of having free storage of up to 5GB.
This is also a cloud storage service that enables users to save files and synchronize digital data across all devices. Google Drive is also a personal storage service that provides users with services including Google Docs, Google Slides and Google sheets which grant them access to edit documents, spreadsheets, forms and more.
Google Drive encrypts all data leaving any device with TLS standard and enables a two-step verification to fortify your data's security further.
The advancement in technology in our world today has made the transfer of files relatively easy. Files and documents, such as pictures, are no longer shared physically but are now transmissible through online tools.
While some files are just ordinary and harmless, others confidential, yet others are susceptible.
Rather than simply attaching important files to outgoing messages, it’s prudent to choose secure file sharing options and services, to avoid running into the risks associated with file sharing.
Whichever file-sharing options you choose, keep in mind that it is wise to install a VPN, which helps encrypt your data. Hence, it’s safe for you to send and receive files, including via emails.
After all, has been said and done, the ball is now in your court. Make sure to pick a file sharing option that is safe and secure and the one that suits your needs.