Sending large files: keep it safe

Geschreven door:

Demi-Jo Smith, August 25, 2022

Sending large files is daily business in the construction world. Plans, construction drawings, photos, BIM files, all kinds of data and documents need to be exchanged. Of course, you want to do this in a way that is safe. Besides being secure, sending large files should also be easy and fast. But how do you do that: safely sending large files?

Sending large files, big pile of files
Many files in construction are large in size.

What should you pay attention to when sending large files?   

Sending large files can be done in many different ways. But before you do so, consider carefully whether you are doing it securely. After all, you don’t want your building plans, drawings or budgets to be out in the open. Besides the confidentiality of your plans, the AVG also plays an important role. The General Data Protection Regulation has been in force since 2018 and states that you are not allowed to process, store and share personal data just like that. Of course, it is desirable to keep your data confidential, but you are thus also legally obliged to handle your data in the right way.

What is important when sending large files:

  • Do only the right people have access to the files?
  • Can the transmission links be secured?
  • Is it possible to secure files? 
  • Does GDPR apply throughout the process – in other words are the servers located in Europe?
  • Is data being deleted when they are not needed anymore?

We all know an unfortunate example of a project that has gone completely wrong or has been delayed significantly because someone accidentally started working with an old blueprint

Through which platform will you send large files?

There are plenty of ways to send large files. Through free and paid online platforms such as WeTransfer or Dropbox, or by mail, for example. The disadvantage of such platforms is that there is no automated version control. Of course, this is particularly important with constructional blueprints. We are all familiar with an unfortunate example of a project that has gone completely wrong or has been delayed significantly because someone accidentally started working with an old blueprint. Fortunately, there are other solutions in the form of (construction) dedicated software to store, edit and share documents. A good Document Management System does include automatic version control.

Who can see your files?

Of course, it is very important that only the right people have access to your files. In doing so, it is important that the parties involved actually receive the files. If you send everyone separate links or emails, you risk forgetting people or ending up in a spam box. So make sure you reach your entire project team at once. In addition, it is nice if you can set authorisations for each file and assign roles and rights per project member.

Sending large files via a Document Management System (DMS) 

An ideal way to share large files is through a Document Management System. This way, you know for sure that your entire project team can access the files, but you are also guaranteed a secure environment. Anyone who needs access can get access, while the files remain inaccessible to others. Big additional advantage: because the files are stored centrally in the cloud, everyone always works in the same version. No more mistakes caused by old documents accidentally circulating or people working in outdated versions: there is only one file everyone works in. And don’t panic, if you accidentally throw out an entire table, you can always go back to a penultimate version. The system automatically keeps track of version management and there is a log of uploads and downloads. So you can always see who changed what.

Read all about document management here.

The benefits of file sharing through a Document Management System:

  • Well-secured environment with servers in Europe (GDPR proof).
  • Specified authorisations per file.
  • Automated version management and up- and download logs.
  • Work with your entire project team in the same file, never work with outdated versions again.
  • Share files or folders via a secure link.
  • Protect files with a password and expiry date.
  • Clear version management for all files.

Secure, centralised, insightful and efficient. It can be that simple!

How does sending large files via a Document Management System work?

Sending large files via a Document Management System generally works quite easily. Of course, it depends a little on which system you use, but in most cases, sending a file is done by creating a link. You can secure the link with a password and set an expiry date. This prevents unauthorised access to the files. You can use this link for all your files. From BIM files to blueprints and photos of the construction site; there is no data limit when sharing files. You send the link to the recipients, they can open it and edit the file directly. As soon as they save the file, everyone works in the most up-to-date version again. Safe, centralised, transparent and efficient. It can be that simple!