Five things you didn’t know about file sharing

A file-sharing system is usually considered to be just what the phrase implies — a way to distribute large documents from one computer or mobile device to another. But there’s much more to it than that.

When you share a file with another person, you can accomplish many other tasks that are cumbersome and arduous to complete otherwise. In fact, with the right file-sharing system such as ShareFile, you have the ability to:

1. Replace FTP. Sending large images, web pages and videos by FTP is difficult, time-consuming and frustrating, particularly when uploading stops or disconnects before finishing. With file sharing, you can bypass this problem by sending files up to 100 GB by email and inserting links to upload and download files in seconds. You can still use FTP with a file-sharing system — but why waste that time and energy?

2. Support compliance efforts with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Besides overseeing patients’ protected health information (PHI), HIPAA affects more than just healthcare practices. The HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule of 2013 covers any entity and business associate that handles PHI. This includes contractors and subcontractors that receive PHI, such as law firms handling malpractice, personal injury or even some other civil matters. To prevent a breach that can lead to federal fines, a strong file-sharing system supports your HIPAA compliance while letting you share PHI quickly anywhere 24/7.

3. Encrypt confidential information. Top file-sharing systems can encrypt data during transfer and storage, thus providing protection from someone hacking into your private information. Secure client portals will provide AES 256-bit encryption, the same standard used by the U.S. government to protect classified information. The data you share in your files and folders will be as secure as possible under current offerings.

4. Sign documents electronically. Why just send and store legal documents when you can have them authenticated with e-signatures at the same time? A file-sharing system with e-signature capability ends having to deal with paperwork and track down people for signatures. Instead, you have a secure, speedy method whereby recipients can access and sign documents anywhere from their laptops, tablets or smartphones and send them back to you ASAP, making fulfilling legal obligations a breeze.

5. Integrate easily with your existing tools. Already working with DocAuto, Worldox, QuickBooks or similar programs? Adding a file-sharing system to them should be a cinch, as it will fulfill your archiving and reporting needs while streamlining your approvals process. It will be an asset to your current systems that takes little time to implement, understand and use in your business.

Any solid file-sharing system will support these five attributes. By incorporating them as part of your workflow, you’ll find that you can achieve a lot more just by taking advantage of all the benefits it offers.

Have your own little-known facts about file sharing others should know? Then tweet us @ShareFile or let us know with your comments below!

About the Author

Wesley Hyatt is a writer/editor for Citrix ShareFile and author of eight books with more than 25 years of communications and media experience. He’s modest too.