How to stay safe when sharing a file online?

How many of you go to your friend's houses to give them the files they need? I guess 1 out of 1000 and that too if that friend lives nearby. Most of us these days don't share any file, be it documents/pictures, in physical form. We transfer them through the Internet or Bluetooth or WiFi. While some of these files may be harmless if leaked by mistake, others may be confidential. So, rather than sharing important files carelessly, it is wise to choose a secure way to transfer the files to avoid risks.

Ways to Share Files Securely

There are various ways in which you can share a file in a secure way.

  • You can use FTP to share files via the Internet using File Transfer Protocol. Here, file sharing takes place between a set of users with the help of passwords.

  • A peer-to-peer network includes the hardware and software of a system to communicate with each other without a central server. Here the files are present on one's hardware and shared with other software from there only without the need for a central serve.

  • The next type of sharing includes Removable storage like pen drives, memory cards, hard disks, etc., where the user will first transfer the files to that removable device and then physically give it to whomever it requires. That person will then transfer the files into their computer.

  • Some files are also shared with the help of online file-sharing services such as Dropbox, where one person will upload all the files to an online file sharing platform, and others will have access to download whichever they need from there.

Risks Involved in File Sharing

It's essential to learn the risks involved in file-sharing are −

  • The file could contain malware.

  • The file can be copyright protected and illegal to download.

  • File sharing apps may request firewall services to shut off the system.

  • Sensitive files can accidentally be placed in a public file hosting location from where anyone can access that file.

Hence, it is important to stay safe while sharing files.

Points to Consider while Sharing Files Online

Here is a set of tips that one should keep in mind file sharing files online −

  • The most crucial step in file sharing is to know what you are sending and whom you are sending it to; and if you are downloading any file from the Internet, then from which site you are downloading.

  • Do not download any illegal or pirated content. As if you download it by mistake also you may have to face many repercussions for it.

  • You should always scan your system with some anti-virus or anti-malware when you insert any removable storage device so that if it has some virus, you can know before it gets infected.

  • Never send sensitive files through a public sharing service. Send through some apps or removable storage devices which are encrypted and share its password only with the on++e who is intended to receive that file.

  • Always have a backup record of the files you share online. That might help you in the future if you get in trouble.

File sharing is easy these days, as you have a lot of options available. Still, you have to be a little alert when using them. It's always a good idea to have a VPN install, as it encrypts your data while sharing and keeps you safe.

Updated on: 17-Aug-2021


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