The Do’s and Don’ts of Sharing and Storing Business Files
Many business processes are changing as technology allows them to do more with different tools. One thing that remains in a business’ technology toolkit is files. Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc are all utilized on a daily basis.
Business files are not going anywhere in the near future. However, some of the ways we interact with those files can change. There are a few things that you should and should NOT do in 2021 when it comes to business files.
Don’t send files in attachments
Email inboxes are so cluttered these days. File attachments can take up a lot of space. With cloud storage limits placed on various email platforms, sending and receiving file attachments can eat up a lot of space.
Instead of sending files in attachments on email, send an email with a link to the document on a cloud storage service like OneDrive. This also allows you to remove access to the file when individuals no longer need the file.
Do collaborate on files in real time
Even better than sending a document back and forth over email is the ability to collaborate on that document in real time online. OneDrive or SharePoint allow you to share a file and collaborate on that file in real time.
When multiple people can work on a document at the same time, instead of waiting for the back and forth of an email, you can get your work done more quickly.
Don’t store files outside of approved locations
Saving your files on your hard drive in locations like your desktop or your my documents is one of the most dangerous spots to keep them. The main reason is they are not backed up when stored in these locations. However, your company may set up the desktop and documents folders to sync with a server or OneDrive, but you would need to verify they are being backed up.
Without a backup, if your device’s hardware fails or you lose your device, you will also lose those files.
Do store files in OneDrive or an approved cloud service
Instead of storing files in an unsecured location without a backup, use your company’s cloud storage solutions. Most companies that utilize Microsoft 365 have the ability to store files in OneDrive and SharePoint. This allows you to follow some of the other “do’s” from this list like sharing files with a link instead of the actual file itself.
Don’t share files with those who don’t need access
Whether you are sharing a file internally, or just storing the files on a shared drive, you should only give access to files to those employees or external users that absolutely need access to the files. This prevents accidental deletion and access to sensitive information.
Do think twice about deleting something
As a managed IT services provider, one of the common requests we get is to restore a file that has been accidentally deleted. If the file has been stored in a location that is being backed up on a regular basis this can be as simple as restoring the file from backup.
What some people don’t always understand is that when you delete a file from a shared folder it will not go to the trashcan on your desktop. You would have to retrieve the file from a valid backup.
Even if you are sure the file is being backed up, you should still think twice about deleting it. Files can take time to pull out of a backup, and you could be without access to the data for quite a bit of time as you wait. This can tank your productivity, and hopefully the file is able to be restored.
With as many tools and utilities there are to manage your day to day work, files still won’t be going any where for a long time. Following these best practices will ensure that you can access the file whenever you need to.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.