Companies always have an enormous amount of documents, even though in our everyday lives we need to save a lot of information, whether it is educational materials or just family photos. Technology has made it possible to speed up work by sharing electronic versions of documents. This can be done by sending the requested files via email or by using cloud storage facilities like iCloud, Google Drive or Dropbox. The problem with both options is security. Sharing important documents just by email or a Dropbox link is not safe. Today, let’s look at a useful technology that solves these problems. We are talking about online data rooms.
What is it?
The virtual data room is an online storage facility that allows you to share your data with third parties by setting up access rules. You can restrict or deny access to different participants and project teams, as well as make your personal data confidential. Users can log in with a username and password that carry information about them and their available rights.
It is security that distinguishes specialized tools from public ones. Secure VDR complies with the gold standard for electronic financial transactions — 256-bit AES SSL encryption and multi-factor authentication. Some modern tools also include an undo process for the document being viewed, which allows the owner to revoke access rights at any time, even if another user has had time to download the document. It is possible to set up dynamic watermarks that will be reflected on each downloaded file and can store information about the date of download, the name of the project, and even the name and IP address of the person who received the file.
How to choose the right one for your needs?
There are several key factors when choosing data room software:
- Security. Of course, this aspect is of the greatest interest, regardless of your goal. It is important to choose a developer who stores all the information himself and does not give it to contractors. The website should also have a confirmation of certification. It is also helpful to read customer reviews, ratings, etc. For example, you can find the top virtual data room software here.
- Price. Most developers base their pricing on the amount of space and the amount of time used. If you need a one-time service, choose an online data room based on the time spent there. If you plan to use the vault regularly for numerous transactions per year, then purchase a subscription.
- Convenience and functionality. Here you need to consider the file format with which the system can work, whether you can download zip files, and which operating systems it is available on. If you are dealing with international transactions, it is important that the VDR is open around the clock and supports multiple languages. Pay attention to whether there is a free demo version.
Examples of use
Let’s imagine a situation: you are discussing an important contract, the details of which are considered confidential. One of the invited partners sneaks a photo of the document on his smartphone and posts it online. The deal is blown up. Or an employee with trusted access simply takes a photo of the secret document from his desk, and then it appears in one of the leak channels. There are dozens of situations when a confidential document may be lost or compromised on purpose, but only a few ways to deal with it.
Of course, you don’t have to be a company owner to use online data rooms. The platforms are ideal for personal use, although in this case, the subscription will not be as extensive. For example, you are a photographer, and you don’t want someone to steal your work. This can be applied to any profession. Or you’re just studying at a university with strict rules about plagiarism, so you don’t want someone else to use your presentation or even your thesis. There are many examples, but any of these problems can be solved with VDR.
The best options
iDeals. It is one of the most popular options suitable for teamwork on important documents. You’ll get all the essential features: single sign-on, data encryption, two-step verification, strong security, and more. The portal supports more than 25 different file formats.
Datasite. The platform is suitable for large companies that need enhanced security that meets legal requirements. It is chosen by businesses with regular transactions and deals. Datasite also stands out for its simple interface, which, however, does not mean the absence of functions. With a paid subscription, you’ll get secure file storage, online file sharing for you and selected users, folder sorting by multiple categories, activity tracking, and more.
Box. On this secure platform, you can not only store files, but also create them and transfer them from other resources. Traditionally, you control access to your data and only allow it to certain people. Additionally, there is an encryption function that allows you to apply individual watermarks.
Intralinks. The room makes document storage and deal execution even faster and more convenient. It is a secure digital platform with a guarantee that no third party will have access to the data without your permission. The company has managed to establish itself in the market, but continues to improve. Recently, the room received an updated interface, so now even newcomers to the world of VDR can use it. You can focus on the trades rather than the user manual.
Using a virtual data room is an effective tool for storing important documents. The tool also facilitates the exchange of data with partners and just the team members. Folder creation, delimitation of access rights and other functional features allow for an easy, collaborative document flow. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, because even the simplest business needs reliable protection in the age of unlimited access to information and the Internet.