Saving files on computers indeed save us the stress of having to keep piles upon piles of papers containing such information. You probably feel you should be contented with this advantage but then the question of how safe such files are coming up. Many times we receive different kinds of files containing sensitive and non-sensitive information. We readily store them on our computers and almost forget that they are not safe. Files containing important information like tax details, credit card details, medical reports, legal documents and many more which are usually considered as a confidential need to be protected from putting eyes as there’s no limit to the damage that can be done with such information.
Contrary to common opinion, regular account passwords do not offer much protection of such files as anybody who had access to your device can readily lay hands on them. Encryption is the way out. This technology helps you to create an intentional mix-up in the content of your files by using complex algorithms. This ensures that anybody who opens your files cannot make any sense of the details therein. To decrypt the message, a specific password is needed. People whom you permit to access these files can then do so with the password given them. This protection extends evens after your computer is probably stolen. MacOS and Windows have inbuilt tools that help you encrypt your files. If you choose, you can use your regular password or a new one.
To store sensitive files securely on Windows, the popular encryption software is the BitLocker. To manage your BitLocker, go to the System and security under the control panel. It enables you to encrypt files on your computer and your external storage devices. You might need to encrypt external storage devices when you want to safely share files between multiple computers or just for extra protection if your computer gets damaged beyond possible recovery of those essential files in the future. To use BitLocker, your computer must come with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip. It is also required that you have the professional version. Without these features, you will not be able to encrypt your files using BitLocker on Windows. As compensation, third-party software like Veracrypt, which is a free program. It works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It is capable of encrypting your entire drive. It is better to encrypt all the files, but you can also choose and encrypt some within their folders. Take precautions so as not to forget your password after encryption, if you forget it you will not be able to access those files again. On MacOS you can use the FileVault in the Security & Privacy section of the System Preferences. It encrypts your drive totally and protects it from intruders. By clicking Encrypt after right-clicking on the drive in Finder, you can encrypt your external storage devices.
You can almost not mention safe file storage and sharing without mentioning cloud storage. There are different cloud storage service providers, and some are trusted to provide better security for your files than others. You should first research on them and find out which suits you. If you want to protect your files from getting into the wrong hands or you want to back them up so that you do not lose them in the event of loss or spoilage of your computer, you will find cloud storage very useful. DropBox is a typical example. It is, however, one of those that do not provide 100% security and may be inappropriate for files containing sensitive information. It facilitates collaboration and sharing of files between users. SpiderOak and One backup have improved security. The former enables you to select who and who can access the files. Your files are encrypted before they leave your System and you are in full control of the decryption. Some mischievous folks have been able to get past the security of some of these platforms in the past. DropBox has been the most assaulted.
You should turn on two-factor authentication, use a strong password that is generated randomly to improve the safety of any cloud storage you use. You should know that in using cloud storage, you are trusting your data to another person. To further improve the safety of your information, you can store your files in a Veracrypt container and then upload them to the cloud. This is the recommended approach for dealing with sensitive files and Visit Filecenterdms.com to know more about it.
The safest way of sharing sensitive information has got to be handing them over in person, but you can share sensitive information stored on your computer with another person by encrypting the file, sending them the encrypted version, and providing them with all the help they need to decrypt the files in order to access the information. This method is not likely to come in handy in all cases as not everyone uses Veracrypt and they might be unable to download it to open a file. Having to share sensitive information with others is usually harder than having to store it. There are other methods of sharing files securely.
Professionals who are used to working with sensitive data like lawyers or medical practitioners will most likely have a secure file box or something of the sort, developed by computer programmers. With access to the terms of such a professional, you can drop your information there. You can also use cloud storage. Send your recipients a link to the cloud rather than sending your file as an email attachment.
We would indeed have less to worry about if everyone minded their business. It’s, however sad that this is a rare phenomenon which means that any data can switch multiple hands in seconds with drastic consequences based on the sensitivity of the file contents. Take care to protect your information, as explained above.