The dangers of using apps to share files online

The dangers of using apps to share files online

If you are a legal professional, chances are you need to send files online. You know you can’t use email, as your files are probably too big and you know it’s really not secure – so what about some of the other apps out there?
Unfortunately, there are many hurdles that make this less than easy. With the average court bundle sitting around the 30mb mark, additional scanned items could make it end up much larger. This could be an issue…

These don’t work:

You can use tools like WhatsApp & Signal as they are relatively secure, however you cannot send anything over 100mb. This is fine if you’re sending a large file to another party, but not to court. Once you hit that limit, you’re out of reliable options. You can use email, but it’s not secure at all. A 10MB attachment limit means you’re stuck for anything larger. You can use WeTransfer, but it’s not business oriented, with no branding, and limited audit controls. It also has limited GDPR compliance terms. And of course you can password protect a file. This is cheap, but passwords can be easy to crack, and theres no way to revoke or audit receipt of the file.

These work:

Here are some alternatives better suited to businesses:
  • You can use Egress, often the go to comms tool in government, but many people have said that it’s so clunky that they won’t use it. You need something that will save time and be efficient.
  • safedrop is one alternative as it doesn’t require a signup.
  • Sharefile, probably the least secure of the three, but they do offer password security.
Here’s an overview:

Wrong recipient woes

Steve works for a local law firm and needs to send some files to another party. He opens up his favourite email client and types away entering the recipient. His email client happily autofills the address in, so Steve hits send and forgets about it. He then has a sudden realisation that he emailed the wrong person!
Over 40% of law firms and make a mistake like this every year. At best you could contact the wrong recipient and plead with them to delete it, or worst, with ICO intervention, leaks and fines. Using a method with increased security reduces your risk.
Overall, there is plenty of choice when it comes to sharing files online. Choosing the right tool however is crucial. File sharing apps tend to be easiest to pick up and use, but are limited to file size and don’t give you an audit trail. Email is more widespread, but can be incredibly insecure and the size limits are worse! Pick a dedicated service with plenty of security options. This will allow you to share files online in a safe and trackable manner.