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Gone are the days when file security meant locking the drawer to your file cabinet to protect your sensitive documents. As we all know, today, most of our documents are created and saved online – but are they more secure now than in old file cabinets? Well, with the right precautions, they certainly can be.
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Cloud storage, online document sharing, and real-time collaboration are just some of the new document management technologies that offer businesses the ability to quickly and accurately generate professional documents that can be shared with colleagues, business partners and customers. Modern cloud document management and collaboration tools have taken the speed of business to another level. Cloud or online applications in a simple sense is the ability for users to access applications and store data from anywhere, at anytime, without having to install the application on their machines. A simple to understand cloud application is Facebook. You log into Facebook, add comments to your timeline, upload photos and interact with your friends and logout. But, the data remains on Facebook long after you logout, because the application and the data resides on Facebook servers, “in the cloud”.

While the benefits and productivity gains of cloud-based document management are apparent, the question of document security may not be. But, with some simple tips and best practices, businesses and users can take advantage of these modern storage and collaboration tools with the comfort of knowing that their documents are also secure.

So, let’s take a look at some ways to ensure that your documents are secure in the cloud:

Allow and Deny Sharing

In any business, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of confidential files that are sent to-and-fro on a daily basis. And keeping these files within the organization is the best way to keep them confidential. This is where cloud storage can help. For example, using Zoho Docs,  the Admin, can restrict documents from being shared outside your organization. This fine-grain control offers an additional layer of safety for your confidential files.  Also, the admin can disable the users from publishing files to the external world. They can either choose to restrict users from publishing their files completely, or to publish within the organization, or allow them to publish both within or outside the organization.

Set IP Restrictions

For highly sensitive parts of the business like Legal, HR, and Finance, only select few members of the organization need to or should have access to certain sensitive data. As the department admin of Zoho Docs, you can enable IP Restriction for your organization, specifying IP addresses of the computers that are in your organization. So, if a user tries to login to his or her account from a computer that’s not in the organization – or a different IP address – the access will be denied.

Manage Access Privileges

It’s great to get feedback from your colleagues or even people outside the organization. But, do you really want everyone editing your document or presentation?! With the right control over your documents, you can get as much or as little feedback as you want. In Zoho Docs, as the owner of the document, you can assign rights limiting viewers to only read, edit, or just provide comments on your document. That way, your original data stays intact and you control the feedback that you want to incorporate.

Lock Your Files with Strong Passwords

Document management would be more secure if you didn’t share documents outside your organization. But, that’s not how it works in the real world. Obviously, you have to share information and collaborate with people outside your company – customers and business partners just to name a couple. Fortunately, with cloud sharing, sharing documents outside your organization can be seamless. But since these files are shared outside the organization, it is your responsibility as the owner to protect the content of the document. With Zoho Docs, you can do so, by sharing password protected files to your clients and sharing the passwords with only your clients in a secure way. Doing so, it delivers the file safely, and ensures that it can only be accessed by the right recipient. Furthermore, you can also set an expiration date for your password, so that the password will be invalid after a set period of time.

In addition to shared password protected files, IT Admins need to enforce strong password policies. Strong passwords can be your best defense to not having your data compromised. Here are few basic password policy suggestions for your company:

  • Passwords should be at least seven characters long.
  • Passwords should not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
  • They should not be a complete dictionary word.
  • Changed passwords should not be similar to previously used passwords.
  • Passwords that increment like Password1, Password2, Password3 are weak passwords.
  • Strong passwords should contains special characters, upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.

So, the next time you share a file, or start collaborating – keep these security tips in mind. And, Try Zoho Docs for secure storage and protected sharing!

For more insights on how to secure your business information, join us at Zoholics Productivity and Collaboration on August 25 & 26, Pleasanton, California.