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How To Securely Send And Receive Documents Online

How To Securely Send And Receive Documents Online

Whether you’re operating as a business entity, an individual, or simply trying to keep track of your personal information, you must protect yourself online. The internet is undoubtedly the most convenient way to do this, but it also offers numerous potential security threats. In this guide we will go over some best practices for how to safely send and receive documents online, including file sharing, emailing, banking apps, third-party transactions, and more.


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1. Choose Secure Web 2.0 Services For Businesses


The first step in securing your online communications is choosing secure web 2.0 services. These platforms not only guarantee that sensitive information is encrypted when sent and received online, they are also designed with encryption as their default setting. As such, even if someone intercepts your communication, it will be impossible to read it and therefore won’t provide any insight on the user’s intentions. You can choose between public, private, end-to-end encryption, which provides greater security than standard encryption, or use industry-standard protocols like SSL/TLS for additional protection. If you do decide on using one of these, make sure that your website has a secure SSL certificate as well.


2. Set up Two Factor Authentication On Your Accounts


Another useful measure to take is two-factor authentication (2FA) on all accounts. This helps to ensure that you are who you say you are, which is especially important when you’re communicating with people whose passwords have been hacked or compromised. There are multiple ways to set up 2FA online, so just make sure you understand what the options entail before you begin. Some popular 2FA methods include Google Authenticator, Authy, Authy for Android, Apple One-Pass for iOS devices, Passport Authentication, and many others. When it comes to mobile apps, there are plenty of 2FA solutions available as well.


3. Use Trust-based Authentication Across All App Tiers


Trust-based authentication (TBA) is another option worth considering when setting up 2FA. With TBA, you share access to your phone with other users rather than relying on password-sharing mechanisms like SMS or MMS. Instead, users must give proof that they are who they claim to be before they can access their device. By utilizing blockchain technology, trust is strengthened by cryptography rather than traditional passwords, making it a much better choice for businesses looking to securely communicate through the internet. It’s worth noting that while both 2FA and TLS use the same principle – “encrypt before decrypt” – they have different benefits when it comes to storing the key and encrypting the data, respectively. Although each method has its own pros and cons, both 2FA and TSA have one thing in common, and that is the ability to protect against cyber crime and identity theft.


4. Limit Access To Only Those Who Need It Most


Of course, it’s always possible to abuse simple brute force attacks against systems with weak login controls. However, by limiting access to trusted parties, you can mitigate the risk to your company and prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing sensitive files and databases. A good rule of thumb for protecting your employees against compromise is to only allow them to log into critical files and servers. Another useful tip is to implement multi-factor authentication wherever needed for added security, like at least 2FA if necessary. It’s also worth taking steps to protect your confidential documents from being accessed by anyone else. Consider implementing HTTPS for secured transmission or sending sensitive documents via DMARC or similar cloud applications. Additionally, don’t forget about keeping backups of your backup media safely stored.


5. Don’t Forget About Data Encryption


If you’re managing sensitive files or databases using a cloud storage service, chances are the data will be transferred automatically across the network without requiring any manual intervention. But if you wish to avoid having to think about this, consider purchasing encryption software like Netwrix to securely store your sensitive information. While free and open source software does exist to help you achieve this, it’s worth mentioning that these tools come in various levels of encryption, so you must look into the specific level of security required before finalizing your purchase.


6. Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks


Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent, as attackers seek out vulnerable targets. They usually involve emails with attachments containing malware that attempts to gain access to your account or steal your financial information. Here, you can either avoid these types of attacks entirely or use anti-malware software to scan for malicious content. Make sure to check whether your phishing defenses are sufficient to detect and prevent threats like malware. Look into alternatives like antivirus software and firewalls, though, if you’re still unsure about the threat. You can also try checking out reputable companies like Bit 9, Cyber Ark, Sop hos, Trend Micro, etc. to see if they offer protection services.


7. Be Mindful Of What You Post


While it may seem harmless, posting anything online can be considered a breach of contract, which puts you at risk for legal consequences, fines, and reputation damage. Even if you’ve provided clear evidence of legality, there’s always room for error, and you should never publish things that you would regret later. Consider whether you’re comfortable disclosing such details in social media settings or perhaps using your real name to maintain privacy. When used properly, however, posting on websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help to deter fraudulent behavior and create a safer online space. Keep in mind that the quality and authenticity of such posts may depend on your chosen provider.


8. Use Different Types Of Transactions That Have Privacy Implications


There are numerous ways to transact online, but most commonly used ones are credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. These two methods allow you to complete the transaction quickly and seamlessly, but can expose you to various risks. Credit card fraud rates have reached over 1% per year globally, according to Statistic. This means that 1 out of every 10 transactions in the U.S. is likely fraudulent, with the total cost reaching nearly $3 billion per year in 2020 alone. If you’re dealing with large sums of money, it may be wise to reconsider using credit cards, instead opting for more secure methods like bitcoin payments and peer-to-peer lending apps. Using cash or checks to complete payments is another viable alternative, as they are less susceptible to human errors or security breaches. Also, consider avoiding third-party payment gateways for extra safety. Finally, try using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) rather than traditional fiat currency to reduce the risk of double mining, hacks, or scams.


9. Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information Over Social Media Sites


Social media sites, particularly Instagram, present new opportunities to share sensitive information with strangers. Before publishing something online, be cautious about who you choose to share it with, and consider monitoring the site’s terms and conditions to ensure confidentiality. This includes ensuring that anyone who sees it is aware of your rights and has permission to view the content. It’s also advised to disable notifications from those who have seen the post, as this can provide a false sense of anonymity.


10. Ensure Appropriate File Storage Management


Most modern browsers have built-in features meant to safeguard against accidental downloads, such as auto-encryption or fingerprinting on disk drives. However, some file systems could be insecure, such as FTP and HTTP. Therefore, it may be necessary to install and configure strong storage management systems to prevent these issues from occurring. Free tools like Ava Stone and McAfee Safe Mode can be used to monitor user usage and restrict access accordingly. Alternatively, you can opt for an automated solution like Digital Ocean, which allows you to manage your hosting and storage resources solely on your behalf.


11. Monitor Content Moderation Policies & Restrictions


In addition to security measures, you must also monitor content moderation policies and restrictions to ensure compliance. Many websites, including WordPress, are now subject to strict guidelines regarding content moderation, which often result in significant penalties and punishments. Users can review their content moderation policy to determine if certain parts of the code are violating the rules. An online tool like Sprinkle can help you monitor these policies. You can also check the website’s community guidelines to better understand the context.



12. Take Regular Breaches Of Security Seriously


As mentioned previously, breaches of security may occur due to bad actors breaching existing security measures. Do not hesitate to report incidents to relevant authorities, who will investigate them thoroughly and may carry out appropriate action. Notifying law enforcement agencies or reporting to local news stations can also help to further educate and inform users. Taking security seriously is crucial for individuals and businesses, and everyone plays a role in maintaining the highest standards of security.


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