Points to consider when using file sharing

Sharing files with your team, partners, suppliers and customers has allowed productivity and efficiency to reach new heights. However, this has also created challenges that must be addressed in order to continue to reap the benefits of this process.

In the early days of this file and folder management Teams were happy to collaborate at a level that did not involve sending endless attachments after each document review. Instead, they now had access to a master document and a visual gallery accessible from any device.

Today, with security issues, increased use of temporary independent talent and more confidential data or proprietary information, file sharing has become a more complex process involving many decisions. Before sharing a file or folder, ask yourself the following questions:

What is the role of the individual?

First, is it internal or external, such as a freelancer, a customer or a supplier? Knowing what they do for the company will dictate the level of files and folders they need to access. This not only protects critical information, but also ensures that nothing is inadvertently deleted or altered.

For example, if the role of the individual is to produce content, he only has access to a folder in which he can share his work. However, they could have access to a folder of photos or graphics to enhance their content.

How will they use the files or folders you share?

The purpose of accessing the files is also important. Think about who will review, comment, edit and approve the contents of a file before sharing it.

The answer will guide the type of access you give. You can set a file on view only when that person only needs to read a file and not edit anything. Even in view-only mode, you can still allow them to comment. they just can not edit anything.

Then there may be other situations where the display only means only online access. You can disable their download capacity. This ensures that no information is copied or used for other purposes.

Or, if the person needs to use a folder filled with photos, memes, or video clips, you can create a subfolder with only the relevant files for their project rather than accessing the entire gallery. You can also choose to share one or more image files.

How long will the person work with your business?

Because many projects involve a freelancer, it is important to limit the amount of time each person has access to certain files and folders. One of the latest features available regarding access time is a tool that allows you to set an expiration date for file sharing.

Once you have set the expiration date, you no longer need to remember to change access and passwords when the project is complete and the freelancer is no longer involved. Or, if you determine that a freelancer will stay on board, you can delete the expiration date, giving him permanent access as a regular employee.

Does the person have a specific level of authorization?

With the growing security concerns of many organizations, it is also critical to consider the release level as a parameter for file-sharing decisions.

For example, government organizations or companies under contract with governments must undergo security checks for each person involved. From there, members of the team have a level of permission that allows them to read or work.

Therefore, align the accessibility of file sharing with your organization's security framework. This helps to ensure that no information is left vulnerable in a subfolder or parasite file.

What information about the project should you follow?

When projects involve many team members, all of whom may add comments or changes, it is essential to determine the number of "chefs" you want in the "kitchen" file and how you can track what you want. they do.

For example, you may want to know who viewed the file to make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities. Or, if there is a problem with the changes, it is useful to check the version history to see who made what changes and when to resolve these conflicts.

Also think about who should be notified for a particular project. For example, not all people assigned to a project need to receive alerts about document changes or changes. Therefore, this will guide you in defining the notification filters.

General process

File sharing offers convenience, collaboration and productivity. However, to get the most out of it while maintaining data security, you need to take a thoughtful approach to managing files and folders. This involves taking into account each person's role, participation in the project, the level of security, and the amount of time needed to determine the filters and access levels of all members of your team. By formalizing the file sharing process, a standard can be established for consistent actions and results. Therefore, everyone from the existing team to new employees and future freelancers knows how your file sharing process works.

This is a sponsored message for Dropbox. All opinions are mine. Dropbox is not affiliated with any other product or service mentioned nor recommend it.

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

Editor-in-Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor who oversees the content of ReadWrite.com. Previously, he worked as a publisher at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at Brad at readwrite.com.