what methods exist to securely have clients send you their files and other important documents?


I am going to start an online business and would like to know what all the options are out there. I have found sites/services such as yousendit.com. What are other methods/sites that I should research?

Software Business Documentation

asked Mar 12 '12 at 12:13
63 points
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  • xkdc covers some ways people are currently transferring files :] http://xkcd.com/949/ - There are probably tons of file services you never have heard of; dropbox was the only one to make it seamless enough to make a huge impact and change the game. – Ryan Doom 12 years ago
  • Unfortunately, Dropbox & Co. do not work that way, as I just found out. You cannot enable your clients send you files without them getting paid accounts, if the files are big (several gigabytes in our case.) – Dmitry Leskov 12 years ago
  • There are countless options. You will need to be much more specific. You could use something as simple as your own socket program with public key encryption, a simpler solution, such as ssh, or use a webservice, such as google docs. Are you simply looking for a command line tool, or something more complex, like a document sharing UI? – Phil 12 years ago
  • I think a document sharing UI. I was looking at sites like ShareFile, YouSendIt, etc. My clients would be needing to transmit financially sensitive data at times, so I want to ensure that I have a system setup that they can be confident is secure. – User16817 12 years ago
  • You have only 12% accept rate. Please consider accepting more answers. – Christian 12 years ago

4 Answers


Please be carefully when you use such services. For example Google Drive has some things in their terms which might sound as Google would own the files (please see yourself, i just heard that).

What I recently discovered and what looks pretty good is Spideroak:


SpiderOak is a zero-knowledge encrypted data backup, share, sync, access and storage service. Online and multi-platform with 2GB of storage free for life.

Besides that personally I like plain old E-Mail. It has every feature I need. For important documents I do sign and encrypt my E-Mail. Then it is guaranteed that nobody else does read it - even not any third party like a file transfer hoster. There are tons of instruction how to do that:

https://www.google.de/search?sugexp=chrome,mod=5&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=signing+and+encrypting+emails There is good software available, like the classic PGP the open source variant GPG. Also there is S/MIME. CaCert does give you certificates for free. For all these services do plugins exist for Outlook and Thunderbird.

answered Jul 17 '12 at 23:29
3,590 points


Your question is somewhat vague. Are the files for processing (e.g. data file for online reporting system) or are we talking about adhok documents such as legal paperwork?

If the former, then go with the flow and get yourself an SSL certificate - banks use them, it has never been hacked.
If latter, then there are various online services (such as dropbox/googlefiles/etc) or just use PGM or something similar and email encrypted files - even encrypted zips are very secure in real terms - sure thousands of computers can hack it in a day or so - is this likely to happen to you???

answered Jun 17 '12 at 23:04
191 points


Users can upload documents of up to 10 GB in size to Google Docs. But users also only have 1 GB of free space available. If you want more space, you have to buy it. But since many users have Google accounts, this could be a good option for your needs.

More info on space availability on Google Docs: https://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=37603

answered Mar 18 '12 at 15:18
Miriam Schwab
121 points


I'm a lawyer and smaller companies typically send deal documents on Dropbox.

answered Mar 19 '12 at 02:59
1,747 points

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