3 Ways to Securely Share Information Online
2014 was the year of the breach. The Home Depot data breach of 56 million credit card numbers. The Sony Pictures email breach involving personal information about employees and their families. All prefaced by the Target data breach in 2013, in which 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen.
Suffice it to say, security is a major concern for many companies and PR professionals and agencies should not turn a blind eye. During a recent presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Vinton “Vint” Cerf – widely regarded “Father of the Internet” and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist – discussed ways to help safeguard security and confidentiality on the Internet. His remarks included a few tips that may be useful for communicators looking to protect themselves online, and in turn protect their company and clients.
- Two-Factor Authentication System: Whenever possible, activate two-factor authentication systems to protect your data. You may encounter this already with your online banking account or email address. Two-factor authentication for Gmail, for example, requires a username and password plus an added authentication factor (either a Security Key or verification code), typically messaged to your mobile device.
- HTTPS Encryption: Focus on sharing information on sites that use HTTPS to encrypt traffic between your device and the server. HTTPS ensures secure communication over a computer network and protects against “middle-man” access to your data. Sites like Facebook and Twitter recently made HTTPS always available to users who turn it on. For all other sites, check your browser’s add-ons for a program that will permanently enable HTTPS.
- Private Videos: Share video content privately and securely via YouTube or Vimeo. Unlisted videos are accessible only to people who have the video link, while private videos require a username and password or Google+ account to access. This approach works particularly well for sharing video content in draft form with clients or third parties, and allows you to host large video files online instead of taking up storage on your device.
Vint Cerf’s full presentation is available to view on the National Press Club website.