Are you sure you’re sure? How the dangers of file sharing could affect your job and your employer.

Are you sure you’re sure? How the dangers of file sharing could affect your job and your employer.

“Sharing is caring” the old saying goes.

We love it when someone brings a cake into the office to share. Is it someone’s birthday today? Time to get a slice.

It’s always a nice day at work when someone shares food, but what about sharing files in the office?

The Dangers of File Sharing

The scary truth is that some offices treat important files like cake — everyone can get a slice. File sharing can put you and your job at risk, but it also helps you get certain jobs done easier. It’s important to understand how you can do your part to keep your organization and its files safe.

File sharing is a necessary part of every business. Employees need access to records — customer data, transactions, vendor information, and so on. Whether you’re an organization that keeps paper files or has records in the cloud, the same types of risks apply to both.

Most companies have IT policies in place to keep information secure. Shockingly, 70% of IT professionals know or suspect that employees are sharing files in a way that hasn’t been approved within their organization.

It’s tempting to take a file and put it into your personal Dropbox or Google Drive while on the job. It might make your life easier, but your company policies exist for a reason.

If you do save a confidential file to your personal Dropbox account to work on your own computer at home, what happens when you lose your laptop? If your personal laptop gets compromised due to viruses or malware, your business’s files are set out on a silver platter for anyone to take. 71% of small businesses that suffer from a cyber attack never recover. Yikes!

A recent survey showed that over 80% of employees in the workplace admitted to using unapproved file sharing services in the workplace like Dropbox of Google Drive. It can be convenient to bypass company policy, but remember: once a file is stolen, it’s gone. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

When you do save a file to a service like Dropbox, your phone saves a copy of the file if you have mobile capabilities enabled. This only puts your organization into more hot water. At any point, over 11.6 million mobile devices are infected with malware. This means that your sensitive information could be accessed by a third party.

When you do save files to unapproved cloud services, you give up control of who can edit, view, or even make copies of the files.

Before making a copy of a file because it’s convenient for you, take note of the risks. You might be violating confidentiality agreements (I’m looking at you, FERPA & HIPPA compliant organizations).

The best way to keep a file secure is to always be aware of who has access to it. If you are in doubt whether or not someone has unauthorized access to a file, always assume that the file isn’t safe. Go with the most secure option every time when dealing with company files. Use only approved methods for dealing with files.

Keep your files safe. Don’t let potential information thieves throw a party because they’ve gained access to your company records.

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