Safe File Sharing : Everything That You Want To Know

With the advent of information technology, it has become much easier to share files via centralized systems with other users at any corner of the world. Instead of traditional physical sharing, all the files and documents these days are transferred between individuals and businesses via digital methods. With this change in the scenario, the present generation has a completely different mindset about data and its safety requirements.

While sharing data between various places and people, one needs to be careful about various risk factors involved. It is advised to follow adequate safety measures to ensure complete safety for both parties exchanging data digitally. Although it is quite difficult to secure files during transfers, the best idea is to stay informed and equipped to address the associated threats on time. The very first step that we need to take for keeping files secure during transfers is to understand the basic concept of file sharing.

Basics of file sharing

In simple terms, file sharing can be defined as transferring or sharing of files on a private or public network. As per the accessibility permissions, people connected via the network are allowed to edit and view files to meet their specific needs. There are endless practical applications of file sharing, It can be used for workplace-based communications, as well as for the worldwide multimedia networks that can be further accessed by millions of users.

Several methods of data sharing have been already invented, and each one of them has unique pros and cons. In order to ensure the secure transfer of data over networks, it is first important to understand various methods available to execute this task. Below we have highlighted some of the most trusted ways to transfer data between two users:
  • Peer-to-peer networks
 In this case, computer software and hardware interact with each other without any interference from the central server. This method makes use of a specific network between peers that are interested in sharing files. Note that, these files are not taken from any centralized server which can be accessed by users. Rather transfers occur between two users.
  • File Transfer Protocols (FTP)
 Here is the most common method of file or data transfer that works with the internet. FTP can be used by a set of users that are allowed to edit or access the files by entering some password. The users perform all the operations via a server site.
  • Removable storage media
 It represents anything that stores files and can be easily removed or connected to any device. It can be a thumb drive, Blue-Ray disc, DVD, or a floppy. The biggest benefit of this method is that you have something physically in your hands that you can access any time through a device.
  • Cloud services or online file sharing
 This section includes some online services like Google Drive and Dropbox. In this case, the user files are stored on a central server from where they can be saved, edited, and viewed by the authorized users. Cloud services allow easy and efficient file sharing between different devices and the same as FTP connections; it also needs permissions and passwords to execute transfers.

Hope you have gone through all the popular file-sharing techniques and collected basic idea about how they work. It is time to go through the risks associated with these transfers and talk about the possible preventive measures.

Risks associated with filing sharing:

There are many file sharing activities when users need to pay more attention to safety; especially while sharing important documents at the workplace. Now, the biggest question is that from what we have to protect them? There are a number of risks that may affect file sharing activities; few of them are listed below:
  • Malware
 Sometimes, when we try to download files from the p2p network, for instance, the files are not verified by the trusted source. In this case, users often end up downloading infected files to their systems which may cause serious troubles.
  • Copyright infringements
 In case if you are working on p2p networks, there are more chances to gain access to some copyrighted material and if such files get distributed on the network; it may lead to serious issues.
  • Bad data management
 In some cases, the inadequate usage of file-sharing services may cause unwanted placement of sensitive data on a publicly accessible location or format.
  • Information loss of theft
 Some insecure file transfer services keep important data open on the network, and it can be accessed by some malicious actors or hackers.
Above we have listed the major risks associated with filing sharing services. The moment you understand the impact of these risks on usage and design of file transfer activities, it becomes easier to find ways to protect them. Although, some of these file sharing risks can be easily avoided with proper education and training; however, others are not that easy to handle.

For example, if you are interested in ensuring protection against malware, it is not enough to be careful about your downloads. Sometimes, the infected files can affect network security, and it causes huge trouble to the businesses and individuals as well. In such cases, it is more important to find a suitable hardware or software solution to ensure proper protection for file transfer activities.

There are so many methods to follow secure file transfer modes, and once you understand those techniques, it can keep your data safe for the long run. Some of the most trusted solutions are using specific p2p services, working via secure protocols, and using well-protected cloud servers.

Secure File Sharing via Protocols or VPN:

You can find numbers of encrypted protocols that ensure safe transmission of sensitive data between various users connected on a network. Some of the most trusted ones are SFTP and SSH. Other than this, you can establish a secure connection via VPN based encryption.

Virtual Protocol Network (VPN) makes use of secure protocols and powerful encryption techniques to establish a connection via specific servers that can be located in different countries. With this, you can ensure high-end safety for your sensitive data, and at the same time, users can hide details about where they are connected while performing the online activity. Using a VPN is one of the most trustworthy ways to ensure safety and security.

Secure P2P services:

It is also possible to execute secure file transfers via peer to peer networks as well. One of the best examples of secure P2P services is Resilio. Although such networks provide a secure experience for file sharing, it is advised to follow safe downloading practices while working on a P2P network.

About the author: John Dee is a Mac addict with a strong background in analyzing and combating security threats to the Macintosh ecosystem. John runs website specializing in malware research, software reviews, and groundbreaking industry news. It is his firm belief that underestimating Mac malware is like ignoring the elephant in the room. In his day-to-day work, John focuses on identifying new electronic perils potent enough to create ripples on the Mac security arena. On top of that, he is particularly enthusiastic about implementing effective countermeasures to fend off these menaces.

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