With the rise of cloud computing and cloud-based software, many of our files are now online, available to us at any time and from any device. Uploading and sharing large files has never been simpler, so your media production business can now enjoy all the benefits of cloud storage platforms. At the same time, using different online systems and communication tools can make your files more vulnerable and open to malicious software if you, your associates or vendors are not tech security savvy. This means that you need to be very careful when choosing the right file sharing solution, or basically any digital solution for your line of business. Inadequate passwords, careless use of transfer protocols, and a multitude of platforms (and passwords) people use on a regular basis, contribute to the rise of security incidents. Nothing can make you 100% safe online, but there are actions that you can take to lower your chances of being in danger. To keep your important files safe, yet still easily accessible, we suggest you include these simple-to-use best practices in your everyday routine.
A Simple One: Read Terms & Conditions of Services You Use
Before we even start with password related tips and tricks, here’s a very basic piece of advice – read the Terms and Conditions of the services you want to use. Even if you’re not a legal expert, reading the long and boring agreements that you normally just say “I agree” to could save you headaches later. In there could be hidden quirks that can be deceiving, especially if your business relies on the service. Whether it’s a potential security flaw, low protection from unlawful invasion of privacy, or just issues with reliability of the service, it’s best to know where you stand. And if something goes wrong, you’ll know what your legal options are. Here is a link to Wiredrive’s Terms and Conditions.
Don’t Use the Same Password Again and Again and Again
Remembering passwords for all the services you use on a daily basis is a real pain in the neck. But if you use the same one on all websites, you’ll be in a world of trouble if someone gets a hold of your favorite password. So creating different passwords for various web services you use is the only way to keep your security level high enough. If someone manages to break or steal your password on one website, all the other passwords would still be safe. Remember, 2 in 5 people in 2014 had their password compromised or stolen. The easiest way to not re-use your password is to not actually know it. Using a password manager like 1Password, allows you to generate a random password that you don’t know, or ever see. As long as the password is random enough to satisfy both you and the website, the actual password shouldn’t really matter.
Change Your Passwords Regularly
Recent research studies state that 47% of people use passwords which are at least 5 years old. There are many lists of common passwords available based on exploits found in larger websites. So, if your password is old enough, there is a very high probability it is on one these lists. If you use a password manager, changing your password will be no big deal. If you never knew your password to begin with, then changing it won’t impact you much. If a website does not force you to change your password, you should do it regularly anyway. If you suspect something is different with your account, always change your password.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is currently one of the best ways to protect your account. The basic premise is to use an out of band method of validation in conjunction with a password. Usually this is a SMS message or voice call, but can also be a one time password generator like Google Authenticator. Having the two independent methods of validation makes it much harder to compromise your account, and easier to be notified if an attempt is in progress. If a website offers 2FA, you should enable it, but be sure there is a way to securely recover the account if the second factor is no longer available.
Password Protected Assets
Your digital identity is too valuable to be jeopardized by giving out any passwords. Cloud storage services, like Wiredrive, have simplified file sharing, so there is no need to disclose your user account password to anyone. Wiredrive allows you to create a password protected presentation. These passwords are different than user account passwords; they are created for the purpose of sharing the particular set of files. This method is similar to a password protected PDF or Word Document. It is the same password for everyone who is viewing the file(s). It is best practice to send the presentation password by a different communication channel such as IM or SMS. Don’t forget to delete the message after it is used.
Encrypt Your Sensitive Docs or Keep Them Offline
For business-critical and confidential information, password protection is simply not enough. You need to encrypt these files to make sure you’re the only person that can access the information. There are several ways for encrypting files, both offline on your hard drive and online on your cloud file storage. Windows users should enable the Encrypted File System (EFS), Mac users should enable FileVault. Both will encrypt the entire file system, and not affect performance. This is one of the best ways to keep unauthorized users from accessing your content. If you have documents that are more sensitive, then they should be stored on an external drive and disconnected from any machine until they are needed. Your file system keeps an index of the content for quick search and recovery. Make sure your file system does not index these more sensitive devices or the metadata, as sometimes content will be added to the index automatically.
Make the Most of the Available Security Features
Hard drives are useful for long-term storage, but not meant for collaboration or sharing. That’s why we are all so addicted to using simple cloud-based, online services and tools. Most of them do have plenty of security features in place, whether it’s the two-factor authentication, encryption or device auditing. Some of these features are active upon account creation and some of them need to be enabled. It’s up to you to make them work for your safety, so there’s really no reason to skip any of the features that can give you peace of mind. Take a deeper look at the websites of the services you’re using, and turn all the security features ON. If you still think that this is all beyond you and your business, just remember that in 2014 the average cost of a corporate data breach increased 15 percent to a staggering $3.5 million.