Have you ever needed to turn a Word document into a PDF?
What about reducing the size of a file without compromising its integrity?
Or really needed to do anything with a file that required software you simply didn’t have?
Many people turn to online file converters and other websites that will give them what they need. Have you ever done that before? If so, then you REALLY need to understand that all of these different platforms come with certain risks that could compromise the security of your data.
What Risks do Online Converters Pose?
Because of their ability to convert files from one format to another quickly and easily, online conversion tools are probably not going to be eradicated entirely. As more and more businesses move their operations online, however, the need for secure file conversion tools only becomes even more important.
Think about it:
- These sites could be stood up just to capture data from anyone who uses it
- They are likely less secure and therefore could become compromised by third parties who implant malware onto a previously “trustworthy” site
- Even if the site is not infected, you are still feeding private files into an unknown database, and who knows who is on the other side with administrative privileges
- You have no idea if, where or how long your uploaded files will be stored
These are just some of the potential risks! As the usage of online file converters increases, so does the need to protect our data from cyber-attacks.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Data
Companies should use secure, encrypted and verified software to do all of their file conversions for them. That is the number one most effective way to keep your data safe while converting files from one format to another, changing its size or simply editing them.
If you’re an individual who still plans on using online file conversion tools at home, be careful what sites you trust. The URL should start with HTTPS:// and may have a lock symbol next to it. That indicates the website is secured from unauthorized third-party access and bad behavior.
Of course, you already know the best way to avoid being victimized by online converters…don’t use them in the first place!
In summation, is it safe to use online file converters? NO!
You have no idea who can access the website’s data, what is done with the files you upload there, and if it’s even well-enough protected to not be secretly laced with clickjackers. All of that is too big of a question mark to risk your confidential work and personal files! Of course, if you can’t resist the urge to use those conversion tools anyway — at least be smart about how you do it.
Really, though, you shouldn’t run anything too confidential through one of these platforms. It’s a recipe for disaster. Cybercriminals are getting more cunning with time and new technology. Protecting yourself and the data you manage means making smart choices 24/7/365.