How to ensure secure file sharing

Sharing files over a peer to peer (P2P) network is easy and risky at the same time. The best thing would be to avoid P2P networks or file sharing. However, that is not really the option when you must share documents over a network.

In the last few years, online storage services have been a hit among businesses, freelancers, and students. Sharing files through an online storage service provider’s website is extremely easy.

Rely on online storage services and avoid risks of security in P2P networks

All data and information transferred from your computer to the distant server of an online backup service provider is encrypted, so there is no chance of someone succeeding in intercepting your data on the way to its destination. As long as you protect your personal identification password, no one can access files shared by you. In the past few years, several organizations have started to use online backup storage services to share files among employees, suppliers, and partners.

Sort out a ‘practical’ data management policy and make sure everyone follows it

It is important for any organization to have a well planned and validated data management policy in place. Ensuring secure file sharing is an essential ingredient of this data management policy. It is advisable to brainstorm all possible ways to hack files shared over a network. Whether a company is allowing file sharing over a private or public network, it is important to consider all possible risks.

Here are the most important questions that you should ask:

Are your files safe on the route to a destination? Hackers can easily manage to intercept confidential files and documents sent over public networks that are not protected, so it is important to make sure that all data transfers between the source and destination are encrypted. Even a simple encryption algorithm is big enough to confuse supercomputers in the world.

Are your files protected against unauthorized access? Several hacking utilities and manually crafted attacks can break through firewalls and take over the security system of a workstation. If you are sharing files directly over a P2P network, your computer may very well be fooled by a worm that attacks an insecure port.

As soon as a virus or hacker gains access to a port on your computer, manipulating security or shared files becomes very easy. An online storage company transfers all your files over an SSL.

Preventing Data Loss at Home

Install antivirus software on all workstations

All workstations operated by employees of an organization are likely to invite viruses and worms if they are not protected by an updated antivirus. Corruption of one single computer may lead to cascading data loss or corruption on many other systems on the network. Make sure all computers operated by employees are protected by good antivirus software.

Execute a good filing system

An organization generates hundreds or thousands of new records on a daily basis. All these records or files have to be stored at a secure online location. Manual failures are often responsible for the loss of critical customer records, billing information, etc. Accidental deletion of data may occur on a networked workstation, MIS, or stand-alone desktop computer. When a well planned filing and management system is in place, such occurrences are easily avoided.

Ways to Backup your Hard Drive

Your hard drive is the ultimate device to store your favorite music, videos, films, text, and hundreds of other files. It comes to your rescue when you need more space on your PC. But what happens if your hard drive goes for a toss and crashes without a warning? Well, you would end up losing precious data that you have been protecting so far.

So what are the ways to create a backup for your hard drive? One of the most reliable ways of making a backup for the data stored on your PC hard drive is to get an external hard drive, which performs the same action as that of a hard drive installed within the PC. More often than not, external hard drives have software that need to be used during the backup process. All you need to do is plug the external hard drive in and use the software while giving it commands to create a backup just the way you want.

Though external hard drives have recently gained importance for data storage, they are definitely not the only means to create a backup when your PC hard drive is down. Another reliable option you could fall back upon for your data backup needs is attached storage. This variety of storage is usually in the form of a network where a single hard drive is shared by a number of computers. Attached backup is a great alternative data storage option, especially for offices and businesses. Like any other hard drive, the amount of data you can store in an attached drive is largely decided by the scale of operations.

While external drives are preferred by most people when it comes to creating a data storage backup, online storage is increasingly becoming popular. Like in case of an external hard drive, you store the necessary data offline, online storage requires you to save your files on a site hosted by an online business. The procedure is easy, and all that you have to do is to find a site that can safely store your files. Once you have determined that the site is right for you, upload the files for which you want to create backup. One of the biggest benefits of online storage is that you can share the stored files with online friends, whereas in the other case, this is not possible.

An organization should always have a PC maintenance routine in place. You can use a disk cleanup utility or some other software to check the health of the operating system and other installed software. For all repairs and evaluations, you should rely on expert advice. Never allow anyone other than an expert professional to work with hard drives.

Photo via Auntie P

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