Nowadays, more than half of your time every day is spent online. From gaming to reading books to sharing files over the net—the World Wide Web has made life easier and the world much smaller.
However, spending time in cyberspace involves the risk of being vulnerable to security hazards, especially if you don’t proactively stay out of harm’s way. Luckily, as much as there’s a myriad of security vulnerabilities on the internet, the ways to counteract or even avoid them are plenty.
This is crucial when sharing files online. Hackers can easily wriggle their way into an unsecured system, which can compromise your safety and all the parties involved. To protect yourself, here are ways on how to send files securely online:
1. Use Online Fax Instead Of Email
Online faxes are gaining fame recently. The idea of printed fax is familiar to most, after all. But what the online fax lacks in novelty makes up for its security and convenience. The way online faxes work is pretty much self-explanatory. Also, aside from using the typical fax machine, you can transfer fax from computer to any terminal around the globe.
Online faxes use a specific type of encryption called secure sockets layer (SSL). On paper, SSL encryption means having your files transmitted through a tunnel that’s safeguarded by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This ensures that your data as well as the packets of the file being transferred is hidden in anyone’s eyes.
Moreover, online faxes don’t need to get scanned the same way printed faxes do. This means less work, fewer chances of being left unattended, and a higher likelihood of not jamming in the fax machine.
2. As Much As Possible, Opt For The Paid Version
After reading this, you might think that security is premium and available only for those who can afford it. While there’s some truth to that, it’s not exactly true—especially when talking about security in general.
However, despite the glaring capitalistic component of it, paid versions of most file transfer software and applications are more secured in the sense that they offer more security options.
This means that a paid version doesn’t have a stronger and more secured layer of safety. It just means there are more ways for you to have a secured file transmission with the paid than the free version.
In most cloud transfer options, free versions have lesser storage spaces. If you’re using file transmission for business purposes, lesser space means having to add another free account to accommodate all the files used within the company.
Thus, you’ll have multiple storage spaces instead of having only one. Opting for an integrated system is more secured but will require a bigger, if not unlimited, storage space. It’s something that paid versions of most file transfer software offer.
3. Use End-To-End Encryption (E2EE)
Imagine being in a room with your friend Sam and acquaintance Fred. Both you and Sam want to share a chocolate bar, but not with Fred. If anything, you don’t want Fred to know you have a choc bar. So, you begin by wrapping the chocolate bar with paper and throwing it to Sam. Fred sees this and now wants to have a piece of the chocolate.
In the scenario above, you’ll notice how Fred badly wants attention and how surprising it is that he knows it’s chocolate despite wrapping it with something else. Why is this so?
It’s because Fred happened to see it. Had you thrown Sam an invisible chocolate bar, Fred wouldn’t have seen it. This is how E2E encryption works. It makes file transfer more secured by keeping the file itself encrypted, so nobody else can see and modify the file but you and the receiving end.
E2E encryption works the best with communication and smaller files, especially if you want it to be as discreet and confidential as possible. Learn more about other types of encryptions here.
4. Think Security
As opposed to popular belief, securely transferring files online doesn’t start the moment you try to send them over. It starts with the security of your device and your approach to security.
If you’re not keeping your computer updated, not installing antivirus applications, not auditing your files, and not doing other security best practices, then you’re a sitting duck when it comes to being hacked.
Moreover, it’s best to continuously read about the security trends online for you to get educated on which practices are no longer effective and which ones are still working. Given the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the internet, some security practices will eventually become obsolete. Being up-to-date with the latest security news is, in and of itself, a security countermeasure.
Security is the first thing that everyone must think of at all times. While the use of the internet has made things quicker and more convenient, everything comes with a price of responsibility and proactivity. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.