5 Tips for Storing Sensitive Files

If you have a need to store sensitive data and files, you must be cognizant of both where you’re storing it and how you’re storing it. If you mess up in either of these two areas of concern, you risk compromising the integrity of your data.

Why Data Storage Matters Now More Than Ever

Data storage is not necessarily an issue most individuals and small businesses think much about. But it’s more important today than ever. Here’s why:

  • Good data management maximizes productivity and ensures you’re able to find the information you need easily, with minimal fuss.
  • Data management is cost-efficient. It reduces unnecessary costs associated with data duplication, data loss, etc.
  • Proper storage of sensitive data helps neutralize security risks and prevent incidents that could have a negative impact on your business.
  • When you have proper data management, your company becomes operationally nimble. Plus, you’re able to make more accurate decisions based on the latest real-time information.

Simple Tips for Storing Sensitive Files

Storing sensitive files and managing your data are easier tasks than they used to be. Here are five simple yet essential tips you can use to get the process moving in the right direction.

  1. Leverage the Cloud

Under no circumstances should you be storing your data and sensitive files on a physical device or hard drive. The cloud exists for a reason; use it!

Thanks to cloud storage solutions, storing and sharing any type of file has become a straightforward matter. With a platform like Box, you can store presentations, videos, design documents, photos, spreadsheets – pretty much anything.

Best of all, you’re able to gain access to these files from any device or browser. Also, everything is automatically backed up so you never have to worry about everything getting unexpectedly wiped out in a crash.

  1. Use Stronger Passwords

Most people think of hackers as crazy-smart mathematicians and coders who design complex attacks in order to snatch sensitive data. But the truth is that most are lazy if tech-savvy people who simply compromise passwords and enter into various accounts the same way we all do.

The best way to keep a hacker’s grimy hands off your sensitive data is to use stronger passwords and account login information. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Use a combination of characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Change your passwords frequently.
  • Use a password manager to get access to all of your accounts in one place.
  1. Implement Two-Factor Authentication

A sophisticated password is the first line of defense. However, it’s always smart to have a second safeguard in place. This is where two-factor authentication can play a vital role.

Two-factor authentication can be set up on almost any account. When activated, it requires a user to have both the password and a physical device (most likely your smartphone) in order to login. This almost entirely eliminates the risk of remote attacks. 

  1. Turn on Account Alerts

In the case of sensitive accounts where confidential data is stored, you want to be sure you’re always in the loop. One way to do this is by turning on account alerts that notify you any time a suspicious login takes place. (A suspicious login is usually one that occurs with a device/location you aren’t familiar with.)

Email account alerts are good, but SMS alerts are better. The faster you’re notified, the easier it is to stop a potentially compromising situation from taking place.

  1. Classify Data Properly

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when they secure sensitive files and data is failure to classify the information properly. It doesn’t matter how small or large your company is, data classification is an absolute must. At a minimum, this means sorting data into three layers:

  • Restricted – Most sensitive data that would cause the greatest risk if stolen. Access is given on a need-to-know basis.
  • Confidential – Moderately sensitive data goes here. This is content that would cause some harm if stolen. Anyone in the department or company can have access to this information.
  • Public – Non-sensitive data. Causes little-to-no risk if released. Access is loosely controlled (if at all).

Keep Your Files Safe and Organized

Storing sensitive files doesn’t have to be a pain in the rear. Once you have a system in place, it becomes as easy as plugging in the right solutions and developing the correct habits.

We hope some of the aforementioned suggestions give you a decent starting place.

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