Almost everyone, from individuals to businesses, needs a safe and simple way to keep track of their documents. Luckily, building a document storage system is easier than most people imagine.
If you use popular file-sharing services on the Internet, you get to enjoy having your sets of information readily accessible and organized.
The concern with these services, however, is a lack of document security.
What Is Document Security
Document security is a major concern for practically every business globally.
When a particular company or entity uploads documents to the web, it inadvertently exposes itself to viruses and risks from hacking.
On the other hand, when stored in a physical form, crucial documents are believed to be likely prone to loss or destruction from disastrous events such as fires and the like.
It’s said that numerous firms have been harmed by data theft and security breaches in the past, resulting in detrimental financial losses.
Hence, taking security precautions seriously while uploading important business documents, such as bookkeeping records and financial transactions, is sensible and critical.
To help you keep your enterprise’s documents secured from hazards when they’re uploaded online, you can consider the following means:
1. Use Electronic Signature (E-Signatures)
Many business experts agree that electronic signatures (e-signatures) are a viable replacement for written signatures.
They’re traceable, save time and money, reduce waste, are time-stamped, and are more secure. Most importantly, they’re legally binding too.
The said tool isn’t just for banks and other legal instruments.
Many software solutions now include them as well in their functionalities to make document signing easier and more convenient.
E-signature security binds signing intent to the information agreed upon indicated in a given document upon signing.
It also secures and tamper-proofs the e-signed document, preventing unwanted alterations.
The recommended practice is to encrypt each e-signature as it’s added. This creates a thorough audit trail with each signature’s date and time clearly indicated.
Independently validated and stored e-signed documents give another layer of protection company owners like you can greatly appreciate.
As more online transactions are said to become paperless these days, electronic signatures can help secure and protect your data.
Try a reliable e-signature solution available like jSign and others like it.
Research the e-signature service provider’s security policies, certifications, track record, and frequency of security audits before choosing one for your firm’s use.
2. Invest In A Paid Document Cloud Storage Solution
For those who are concerned about data privacy, it’s highly recommended to use a secure and reliable document cloud storage solution.
Different service providers offer file-sharing convenience and simplicity with far greater security and privacy for a competitive pricing package than competitors that offer free services.
- What Can Cloud Storage Do?
The finest cloud storage options integrate seamlessly with other apps and services, making file viewing and editing easy. Choosing a solution that can readily authenticate with your other tools is important, especially in business.
The flexibility of cloud-based storage systems is impressive. Many of them do specialize in a particular subject.
Henceforth, it’s advised that you compare and contrast each one to determine which option can properly cater to your business documents’ needs and demands.
3. Monitor Employee Access
Since several workers view, distribute, edit and share information throughout the day, strong regulations and procedures governing user access to sensitive data are required.
Ensure you can track who has access to what and that you can authenticate each user during every session.
Moreover, educate your employees about data security.
Those who have close access to your company’s most sensitive information shouldn’t be the only ones who understand and follow proper document security protocol.
All personnel should be adequately informed on phishing scams, password security, clean desk regulations and document disposal, and other important document protection concepts.
4. Have Your Documents Encrypted
Even if you protect your networks and files, your documents may remain exposed to possible hacking without strong encryption.
The files can be attacked both in transit and once they arrive on potentially insecure systems or devices.
Data encryption protects the privacy of digital data stored on computers and transmitted via the Internet or other computer networks.
Modern encryption algorithms are said to have replaced the old data encryption standard (DES) from years back.
Authentication, non-repudiation, and integrity are all based on these algorithms. Authentication verifies a message’s origin, while integrity verifies that its content hasn’t been altered since it was sent.
Non-repudiation assures that the message sender can’t deny sending the document.
5. Watermark Your Documents
Watermarking is said to be one of the longest-lasting document security procedures. Watermarking has typically been used to claim ownership or trademark papers, but it has other uses in the digital world too.
For example, you might want to discourage the distribution of confidential papers and provide a means of tracking them if they do.
Watermarking digital documents with the recipient’s email address can help identify the source of the leak.
Also, a simpler application of watermarking is to inform recipients of the document’s classification. A document watermarked as ‘confidential’ may be treated with more care than a document without one.
6. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) gives an extra layer of file sharing protection. No one else can log in even if they know your password since they need a second factor to log in successfully.
You can receive 2FA codes in a few ways like:
- Software authenticator uses mobile security tokens. In addition to entering a user’s login and password, some applications require a 6-digit one-time password (OTP) – an added layer of security protection.
- Short message service (SMS) code is another viable option. During login, a 6-digit one-time use code is provided to the user’s selected phone number. Username and password must be supplied along with this code to enable access to important files.
Even so, it’s noteworthy that 2FA has its own drawbacks that you should be mindful of before going ahead with its implementation.
7. Utilize Antivirus Software
A plethora of viruses is believed to pester the online world nowadays.
Malicious software can even infect your computer and perform almost everything: from annoying pop-ups to scanning and stealing significant papers.
It’s highly recommended to install an antivirus software tool, especially on computers connected to the Internet for they’re prone to accessing dangerous links online.
As a golden rule, avoid downloading an antivirus from just anywhere; only download programs from official shops and trusted sites.
Safeguarding documents online is said to be a must in today’s world that’s filled with various malevolent actors looking to compromise your data management practices.
This guide discusses how to protect online documents to avoid extra costs of recovering them and to protect critical data from cybercriminals.