As our methods of sharing information continue grow and change rapidly, finding the best ways to do it securely is vital in an office environment or even at home. Turning a blind eye after you hit send or print out a document won’t fare well for you in the long run and can leave your personal information vulnerable to interception. It’s important to stay diligent with your data output and recognize any threats before it’s too late. This article will outline a few simple methods that you can implement in your every day life for sharing data securely and maintaining peace of mind in the process.
- Don’t Rely On Email
Sure, sharing your documents via email is quick and easy, especially if you are on the go, but it shouldn’t be trusted with confidential information or when dealing with unknown parties. Email is great for brief bursts of communication, answering or asking questions, and even outlining processes necessary for your job, however, when it comes to personal or company data, there are alternatives better suited to keep you safe. Of course, sharing documents via email is unavoidable at times depending on your position and circumstances, in which case, you can send secured files that require specific passwords to view. Email is a tool, not a solution – don’t expect it to provide you the utmost security and learn about the additional steps you can take to keep your documents impenetrable.
2. Use Online Document Storage Services
A sufficient alternative to email for sharing documents is storing them on a secure document sharing platform that allows you to remain in control while also collaborating with third parties. Virtual data room providers have worked diligently to offer just that to concerned clients and companies that are constantly sharing data. While there are platforms that offer extremely affordable (even free) online storage services, such as Google Drive, it’s important to understand that their level of security isn’t up to par with premium, subscription-based platforms. When it comes to your confidential information, invest in a provider that will allow you detailed permission settings, user or group-based, and the ability to watermark documents and expire access to them whenever you see fit, all within your virtual data room, anytime, anywhere.
3. Know Where Your Physical Documents Are
When talking about document security and how you can better improve yours, we can’t forget about physical documents and their continued prevalence in business transactions. Paper files are just as easily (maybe even more so) intercepted if the right steps aren’t taken to monitor where they are at all times and who can gain access to them. Simple methods to practice are to shred any documents no longer relevant to daily processes, projects, or clients. If you no longer need to hold onto a document, ensure that it is disposed of in a way that won’t allow unwanted third parties to view or recover it. Also, ensure that you are aware of what you are printing and when. Offices have a lot of foot traffic, a lot of the time from visitors or clients stopping in for meetings, so monitor what you are printing and retrieve it as soon as possible. Leaving it in the printer, exposed, only allows for more opportunities for it to be taken and shared without your knowledge and to the detriment of your company.
4. Share the Knowledge
And finally, the best way to ensure that you and others implement the right strategies to stay cyber secure is by sharing the knowledge of the best practices with one another. After years of working in a company it can be easy to forgot the necessity of updating processes or even refreshing your knowledge of them, so don’t shy away from suggesting meetings devoted to recognizing threats and how to thwart them. Even sending out mass emails every few months with procedures can be enough to jog the memory of employees and give them a push to bettering their own document security.