Proper management of documents and files for personal or business use must not be taken lightly. Document theft, loss, or hacking isn’t something anybody can deal with. Yet, 58 data records are stolen every second due to a lackluster file management system. 

Proper management of files starts from knowing how to convert media files to be stored properly on your system and shared with others. Here’s a guide at to help you if you’re struggling with it. With that said, there’s no need to become a victim to begin managing your files and safeguarding them. Adopt proper file management practices by learning from others’ mistakes.

Take a look at some common file management mistakes and ways to avoid them. 

1. Accessing your data from unprotected and unsafe Wi-Fi networks 

You may need to access important files urgently, but you’re away from the office or home. In such situations, you might be tempted or forced to use any available Wi-Fi network for a few minutes. It could be at a friend’s house or a coffee shop. Even though it is understandable that you need to access files, using unprotected Wi-Fi networks urgently might be risky. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and using more sophisticated methods. It may only take them a few seconds to infiltrate the system and hack your data.  

So, whenever you access important or business files via an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you risk your sensitive data. So, you must be very careful and avoid it as much as possible. 

2. Failing to back up your files 

Failing to backup your files and documents is one of the worst file management mistakes. You must back up all the files stored on your computer to prevent losing them if anything unexpected happens. It is particularly crucial when storing important business documents. 

Set regular automatic file backups to avoid this mistake, and you can direct the backups to various sources, including the cloud and an external hard drive. You must implement steps to safeguard your data and crucial business information at all times. 

You are advised to safeguard your business information and other essential files by backing them up regularly in two different locations. So if something happens to one of the locations, you have a backup. 

3. Providing unlimited access to your files to multiple users 

Another common file management mistake is allowing unlimited access to your business files. Irrespective of where you store your files, it is important that only a few trusted users can access them. If you provide unlimited access, it can put your files at risk. Someone may sabotage the files, and you won’t even know who did it. 

Keep your files safe by limiting the number of users who can access them. 

4. Not adhering to the retention schedule 

Like physical files, digitally stored files must also adhere to the law. There are a given number of years for file retention, and the regulations vary with local, federal, and state laws. If you fail to preserve files for the specified time, it could result in penalties and hefty fines. Therefore, you must comply with the laws in your state. 

You can even create a retention policy for your business if you do not find any governing laws for digital files. Adhering to the retention law will also let you know the files you need to destroy. 

5. Sharing data via unsafe routes 

Everyone must not access your filing systems, but collaboration is important. Sometimes, everyone might need to access some business files to finish their tasks, and this data exchange must happen on a protected and safe platform. You need to share files and documents via a safe online platform. Otherwise, hackers will easily steal and access your data while you’re sharing the files. 

6. Not organizing and indexing files 

Business owners already have too much on their plate, and they don’t want to waste their time looking for important files. That’s why you need to pay attention to proper indexing and organizing of files, so you don’t have to spend hours searching for them. You must use the right names for the documents and organize them logically so the concerned users can retrieve them without hassle. 

So, are you guilty of making any of the file management mistakes mentioned above? If so, it is time to rectify your mistakes and avoid your crucial business data from getting compromised. Keep your data safe and organize them properly to find them easily when you need them. 

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