How to Safely Share Personal Information on the Internet
Unlike its days of infancy when an email address was the only way to communicate electronically, the Internet now offers plethora of services to connect and share with our loved ones. From various social media channels to express our opinions to apps that let us send pictures and videos at just a tap of a button, we have the option of choosing our preferred method of connecting with people around us.
Though there is no denying the fact that these services have shrunk the world in what’s oft called a Global Village – their security continues to be a topic of heated debate. No matter how robust an apps security is, every time it connects to the Internet there is always a chance that the notorious with the right skillset can hitch a ride on that one open channel and steal sensitive information being shared on the Internet.
Keeping that in mind here’s a list of measures meant specifically for those who consistently share everything from saucy pictures to credit card information over the Internet despite knowing the risks. The methods depend on the type of information being shared and how willing a user is to take security precautions:
Merge Sensitive Information into Chunks
Establish a ground rule with whoever you frequently share your username and passwords with. For instance, if you work in an IT setting where it is mandatory for you to share login information then develop a communication protocol understood by every participant that the username will be emailed and the immediate text they get on their phones will contain the password. Untying both pieces of information in separate modes of communication without mentioning any context can enhance security of the data quite significantly.
Also it is advisable to make the password as obscure as possible. Merge the password into little chunks of words that would appear to be spam for someone snooping around. For example: getthecarfixed is a password that indicates a frequent chore which will do little to raise any suspicion.
Last Pass is a password management service that not only stores all passwords to log into different services on the web but also generates a random strong password for you to access your library of passwords. In addition the app offers one of the most secure ways to share passwords and small notes on the web. However, it requires all intended recipients to be signed up with the service first. Once, that is done the sharing bit becomes easy. Simply access your Last Pass vault and click on the “Share” link. On the next page enter the recipient’s email address and Last Pass will take care of the rest.
Dropbox is a popular cloud-based service that encrypts all information stored on its platform. Unlike Last Pass intended recipients do not need to sign up with the service.
To share information with Dropbox simply follow these steps:
- Drag and drop the file into your Dropbox window. Any folder is fine; it does not need to be shared on a public folder.
- Once your file is successfully uploaded (represented by a green check mark) right-click on it and choose Dropbox -> Get Link. Doing so will copy the shareable link to your clipboard.
- Simple share that link in an email or text message and the recipient will be able to access the file.
Dropbox offers a secure HTTPS connection which makes file sharing secure from start to finish.