For the third entry in our General Security series, we are going to talk about file security. If you have any tips of your own, comment below or tweet us @Send_Anywhere.
1. File Security: Encryption, Encryption, Encryption.
The name of the game when it comes to file sharing is encryption. Before you use any software, make sure it provides various levels of encryption and if it doesn’t, get as far away from it as possible. The difference between sending encrypted files versus those that aren’t is like trying to swim across shark infested waters versus taking a boat. True, you may get to the other side unaffected but why would you risk it when you have a much safer option. Encryption is especially key when the information being sent is not photos from a summer vacation but highly confidential files (credit card reports, accounting information, etc.) that must only be viewed by the sender and receiver. Recently, Google has wised up to the importance of email encryption and will soon be releasing their own encryption software through the Google Chrome Store.
If you want to utilize cloud storage (which will be discussed at length below), you are going to want to make sure that your files are fully encrypted on their way to the cloud as well as during their time on the cloud. Finding a software that offers file encryption while the files are still on your computer is an added bonus.
Recommendation: If you plan to send highly confidential files, use a software that provides a direct, secure connection between your device and the one that you are sending it to. For this, Send Anywhere works perfectly.
If you want to use cloud storage, we highly recommend SpiderOak which not only encrypts your files en route to and on the cloud server but also protects them while they’re on your computer.
2. File Security: The Cloud, P2P, and the Great Unknown
Many people view the cloud in awe. It is this great unknown that is able to manage all of their data thereby freeing up space on their computer or smartphone for more important things. What people do not realize is that this great unknown can be pretty dangerous. When you think about it, you are letting your personal information sit on a server that is probably thousands of miles away from you and if something goes wrong, chances are you are not going to be able to get that file back. Especially as hackers become wiser and wiser, the cloud as an alternative storage option is not as appealing as it once appeared.
Another thing to think about when sending files via the cloud is that it is adding extra time to the file transfer process. Instead of having the file go directly from Point A (your computer) to Point B (your friend’s computer), you have to also go through Point C (the cloud) which not only adds time to the entire process but also leaves your data floating around the web for that much longer. Your best option when sending files between two destinations is to utilize a P2P service which directly connects the devices without utilizing the cloud.
Recommendation: Be wary of the cloud hype. Instead of storing personal data on the cloud, use an external hard drive. When sending files, find a software that utilizes a P2P connection.
Check in Monday when we discuss the security behind WiFi connections.