More and more people are utilizing their email as a one stop shop for storing data that they send and receive. Convenient? Yes. Secure? Maybe Not. In this post, we'll reveal to you why you should stop using email as your storage solution.
Doing anything these days has become easier and faster as IT becomes more efficient and powerful. It can seem much simpler to keep that customer file sent via email in your inbox rather than moving it to a more appropriate folder on your desktop.
The Issue of Using Email as a Storage Solution
Well, for starters, what happens when an email data file is lost?
Backup services frequently fail to back-up the email data file. Many businesses only realize after an issue occurs that there is no back-up to their email.
Here's some suggestions to help avoid things going wrong:
First, make sure you have a copy of your email on hand. If your email is hosted elsewhere, check to see if the web-host backs up the data files. You can ask them if they provide this service as an add-on. If not, you can use third-party solutions to make the backups.
Create Client Specific Folders
Secondly, save all attachments to a folder appointed to the respective client. Make sure to do this in your documents and not a folder created in Outlook.
If a client takes the time to send you a file, make sure you take a minute to save it to their appointed folder. If the file's name isn't descriptive, rename it with something that is. Trust me, this will be so helpful in the long run.
Use Your Email Archives
Next, you should make use of your emails Archive Feature. This will act as additional email storage, but also gives you the ability to back-up the archive folder as a whole. Archiving in general reduces the size of your inbox.
Sort Through Junk Mail
Lastly, I would suggest taking a moment or two to sort through junk mail when it arrives. Either block it, send it to junk or simply delete it.
These suggestions will help you to limit the amount of junk in your email, establish redundancy so you have multiple places to retrieve data in case of an emergency. Plus, it's a nice little trick to organize your clients files so they're easy to find.
Cybersecurity Risks in Email Storage
Another issue with storing files in your email is the risk it poses to your cybersecurity.
Yes, email was designed to make communication more efficient. On the other hand, email has become the default filing system for far too many people and their important documents.
This makes an email extremely vulnerable. If these accounts are hacked, it compromises all important data stored within the email system.
If you store everything on your email, all a cybercriminal needs to do is a little social engineering to get you to hand over login credentials and boom, a "one-stop-shop" for all your critical data.
Creating a separate backup for storage is that one extra step to separate yourself from a data breach.
I encourage you to relay this message to your friends, family and co-workers. It is a common misconception that we need to store our files in one place. Most people who do store their data in their email are used to the days where it was the only way to keep our data with us at all times.
It's time to explore your cloud-based options.
Cloud Based Storage
With cloud storage, we have the ability to store our information and access it from anywhere.
Using cloud-based storage will make it extremely difficult for criminals to get a hold on your data. In fact, these criminals will have a hard time even knowing whether or not you use the cloud for storing important documents.
Storing in the cloud is not something we normally publicize in the same way we would our email. If you decide to take this route, I highly recommend you set up your cloud account with multi-factor authentication (MFA). This added layer of protection will make it nearly impossible for cybercriminals to access your data.
At the least, employing multi-step authentication for your actual email will do wonders for your security.
I hope you found this information valuable.
Check out our blog post for Training Your Staff on Cybersecurity Awareness.
If you are looking for more dependable data storage solutions, feel free to book a time to chat with us via the Calendly link below. I'd be happy to discuss ways to optimize your company's IT
STG IT Consulting Group proudly provides IT Service for Small to Medium Businesses in Greater Los Angeles. We'd love to see if we can help you too!