Privacy When Using File Storage and Sharing Tools

File storage and sharing software make it easy to save files and access them from anywhere. For teams that collaborate often, these programs limit issues with maintaining too many versions or redundant copies of files. Everyone on the team has access to the same file from a centralized location.

Before teams switch to file storage and sharing software, managers may face concerns about privacy and the security of data stored within the system. Do all members of the team have access to every file? Here are some guidelines companies can use to overcome privacy concerns when using file storage and sharing software.

Set Up Access Permissions

For each file and folder within the file sharing program, file owners are able to delineate who can access the information and who can make changes to the file. This eliminates the concern that all users can access every file within the storage system and improves the privacy of the documents. A new employee won’t have access to read through a file with client names or performance records for other employees, even if these files are also stored in the file sharing program. This eliminates the need for having separate systems to store information of different priorities, so the information can only be accessed by managers or owners.

Encrypt Most Confidential Files

Many banks and government agencies already use encryption techniques to protect their digital files from unauthorized parties. Encryption is the process of converting data into a code, so even if someone got ahold of the file, they would be unable to read it. When storing files in a file storage and sharing program, it’s important to be able to encrypt certain files, either through the file storage program or file type. This ensures top level privacy protection in addition to privacy measures already in place by the software. While using encryption is not necessary for every file, it can possibly help to further protect the company’s most confidential files.

Maintain Cyber Security Measures

One privacy concern many companies share with regards to file storage and sharing programs is cybersecurity measures. For instance, what happens if a disgruntled employee or a malicious, unauthorized user gains access and puts malware inside of a shared folder? Will it impact all users on the system? First, it’s important for business users to select only the highest quality and most secure file storage and sharing vendors. This will limit many privacy and cybersecurity issues before they arise. Second, keeping anti-virus and firewalls up to date is an important part of limiting risk associated with using IT assets and cloud services. To limit the risk that malware could intrude on privacy, make sure that all internet security measures are in place and up to date.

Schedule Employee Training

Employees may not be aware of the privacy risks associated with file storage and sharing programs. Scheduling employee training to educate employees about what the risks are and what they can do to mitigate them can help keep privacy concerns low. This training should be part of the new hire onboarding process and a part of annual training, so employees know the most recent policies and don’t forget the rules.

File storage and sharing software can help businesses streamline operations and maintain access to critical business files no matter where they are. As an IT asset that’s shared, privacy remains a concern. By using these tips, businesses can eliminate their privacy fears.