One of the questions we get a lot at SpiderOak support is how to share files through SpiderOakONE. I think that some of the confusion results from the way sharing works on other services like Dropbox or Google Drive. Dropbox lets you share a folder with another Dropbox user, which is very convenient but also terribly insecure. Here’s how SpiderOak lets you share files.
The simplest way to share a file is to generate a direct link to it. You can copy this link and send it by Semaphor, text message, email, etc. The people you’ve shared it with simply need to click on the link and the file will be downloaded. To grab a direct link to a file, go to the Manage tab of the SpiderOakONE app, select the file, then click the Link button. You’ll see a dialogue box appear that will display the link once it has finished.
How is this more secure than other file sharing services?
SpiderOak’s direct links automatically expire in 72 hours. There’s no hidden configuration dialogues to set, each link is only valid for three days. If for some reason you need to regenerate the link after it has expired simply repeat the process. I love this feature as it means I’m not hanging a link out there that I’ll forget about.
The other great thing about this type of file sharing, is that no other files in your account are exposed to the outside world. SpiderOak uses a nested series of keys to encrypt all of your files, so one file can be made temporarily available without changing the encryption that’s applied to all of your other data.
This is the hidden gem of SpiderOakONE. You can share an entire folder through a password protected web page. There is not an expiration automatically applied to Share Rooms, so you’ll want to periodically come back and review which share rooms are active in your account and disable those that you aren’t actively using.
You can create a Share Room by first backing up data to your SpiderOakONE account, then going to the Share tab of SpiderOakONE to create the Share Room.
How is this more secure that other file sharing services?
SpiderOak’s Share Rooms are read-only, so there’s no need to worry about those you share files with deleting a folder or a file. (This used to happen to me all the time when I used Dropbox.) The default setting is always privacy and security, and that includes protecting your files. Like direct links, SpiderOak’s nested encrption keys mean that only the data in the Share Room is exposed to the outside world; the rest of your data remains secure.
Some hints for your Share Rooms
- Always password protect your Share Rooms
- When sending the URL of the Share Room to those you want to share the data with, give them the password in a different email than the URL. (It’s always best to separate these things; if one of the emails is somehow leaked, the data is still protected.)
- When you update the folder on your computer that the Share Room is based on, the files on the Share Room web page will automatically update as well. If it doesn’t, simply delete and then recreate the Share Room in the Share tab of the SpiderOakONE app.
What questions do you have about sharing files securely? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out!