By Jaynee Light

If you run your own business, chances are that you have come across the problem of sending large files to your clients and employees. Spreadsheets, PDFs, and other important documents can become monstrous in size, and trying to send it via email is often a hassle. You also need to worry about keeping your sensitive data, and that of your customers, secure. Luckily, online storage is a safe and easily-maintainable solution to these problems, but most people are still unsure of what the cloud is and how you can use it effectively for your business.

The Cloud
Cloud storage is still fairly new, but it can be incredibly useful, especially if you have a business or keep large files of sensitive information. Essentially, a company of your choosing gives you the tools you need to encrypt your data, and then it saves it for you in servers set up in extremely safe locations. You have access to all of the information without having to worry about your hard drive failing (they protect against that through backups) or somebody getting a hold of your computer.

If you save your data with an online storage site, your information will be encrypted and kept secure off of your computer and out of your email, where it could be read without too much difficulty. Since the only people who know the encryption key are whomever you give the code to, outsiders cannot access your information.

Sending Large Files
Because the documents are held online, it is easy to send large or sensitive files to others without compromising security or taking up large amounts of data space in the inbox or on the computer of the person being sent the information. You simply send them a link to their data and allow them access by giving them a code. For security purposes, you should not send the code and the link in the same email.

If the files you want to send are large, but don’t necessarily need all that security, many storage sites will allow you to give public access to the link. This means that all the customer has to do is click on the link to open the file, with no decryption necessary.

Some programs allow for data collaboration, where several people all have access to the files necessary for the business by logging into the site with their password. The group administrator gives others access to whatever files they specifically need without compromising other data. This can be used in lieu of emails, as the client can log on whenever they choose and get the files they need. It’s another added level of security, as the files never need to be sent through email in any way and there is no need to download them onto the computer for easy access.

Collaboration is also useful if you have documents that several people need to work on or add information to, and prevents older versions getting mixed up with more complete work. The virtual workspace is again controlled by the administrator, who has final say on who is allowed to change each document.

If you decide to use online storage for your business, it is imperative that you take certain precautions. Choose a longer passcode that will be difficult for others to guess but easy for you to remember, and never write down that code. With the use of online data storage, you can quickly and safely allow others to access large files without the hassle or lack of security that often occurs when using email, making your business more efficient, more professional, and safer for others to use.

About the Author
Jaynee Light writes for tech blogs on topics such as sending large files online.


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