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Why Encryption Is Important for Your Digital Documents

The use of encryption to ensure the privacy and security of documents was once exclusive to agencies whose job it was to keep things secret. These days, the use of digital storage is growing as a preferred method for document retention, but it is also attracting the attention of hackers and online thieves.

The amount of information accessible from unsecured documents is irresistible to identity thieves seeking to poach Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other personally identifiable information to sell or exchange on the dark web. Your computer or server may not be secure and can be hacked without the proper security precautions.

One means of defense against prying digital intruders is to encrypt your documents. It may sound like something out of a Cold War spy movie, but making document security as part of your cloud-based document management system is essential to your business.

Cloud Benefits

Your business is likely among a growing number transitioning from file servers and traditional document management systems to paperless, cloud-based digital storage. There are many advantages to cloud-based storage of documents and files. This includes ease of accessibility through the internet, effective use as emergency backup for important files, and reduced annual operating costs.

The Risks

Document storage in the cloud also carries some security and privacy risks, such as your company’s sensitive data comingling with that of other companies. The benefit of accessing cloud-based files from an internet link can also be a disadvantage, as files and documents stored in the cloud without effective security measures in place are among the most vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals.

Importance of Encryption

Encryption protects data collected by your company from unauthorized access. It is used to protect documents stored on your company’s computer or network storage system, or sent by email. A document that is encrypted cannot be opened by another user unless that user has the password, key, or token to access it.

As a business owner, you want to ensure that your documents due for storage in the cloud are encrypted. This can include documents containing personally identifiable information, sensitive or proprietary business data, or anything that can be of use to cyber-criminals and data hackers. Encryption programs can either be plug-ins to applications like Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, or standalone applications that encrypt all files.

Encryption adds an important level of security to your cloud-based document management system. The loss or theft of a single company laptop or the cracking of a password does not have to put your business at financial or liability risk.

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