The most popular cloud storage and collaboration services – Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive – leave a gap in the capabilities users require when they (and I’m stealing from FedEx) absolutely, positively MUST be able to control and track what recipients can do with that file.

Those other services are fantastic for collaboration. If you need to work on the creation and editing of a file with others or share files to “trusted” recipients, those services fulfill your needs.

However, when you’re distributing your most important – sensitive and confidential – files to “untrusted” recipients, you ought to consider FileString as an alternative. At this point, I hope you’re asking, “why?”

FileString is different. We are not a collaboration service. We are a distribution service. We work in conjunction with cloud storage – as a layer of added value, not as an alternative to it.

Below are five important reasons to consider FileString to distribute, control and track your most important files:


File storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive allow users to share files in two ways. The first method is by sharing the file directly to specific recipients. This is the method used when you want to collaborate with someone on a file. You share the file to that person, giving them edit or comment rights. The second method of sharing is by creating a link that others can use to access the file. In many cases, people unknowingly share one file via both methods simultaneously. Thus, some people can access that file by clicking a link, but they are not required to login while others may be required to login to access the file. Not only is this confusing for the person sharing the files, but good luck quickly figuring out which files in your cloud storage account are shared as links and who has access to those links, or to which files specific people have access via sharing by email address. If you need to guarantee that all files are inaccessible by a given recipient – such as a job candidate who refused a job offer or a freelancer with whom you’ve severed your business relationship – can you quickly and easily find those files and revoke access? You don’t even know when people accessed your content, much less have the ability to quickly revoke access. When you can share a file as both a link (distribution) and via email address (collaboration), it’s hard to keep track of which method, or both methods, that you used to share the file. For instance, if I asked a cloud storage user to show me exactly what links a specific person has access to from their Dropbox or Google Drive account, they would be hard pressed to answer.


Sharing links is the illusion of security. Anyone who receives a link can access a file. Dropbox’s answer to this is to create a password for the link. Still an illusion. The person who forwards your link to an unintended recipient would simply forward the password along with the file link.. Or worse… post it on social media. Next thing you know, hundreds or thousands of people have access to content you intended to distribute to one person. Only with “identity-based security” (security that requires recipients to login) do you have true security, because people do not, as a general rule, share their credentials to access a service. Why? Because they know that if they share their credentials, the person who has those credentials has access to ALL of their files, not just the specific file they wanted that person to look at.


Cloud storage services don’t provide ANY file tracking capability. No notifications when files are viewed, printed or downloaded. No web-based report to see all activity. With Google Drive, you can see if a person is currently viewing a file by opening the file yourself and seeing that person’s avatar displayed as currently accessing the file. So, what’s the plan? Open every file you have in Google Drive simultaneously and toggle among the browser tabs to keep track of who’s viewed your files? 


Similar to tracking which recipients have access to files, senders need the ability to quickly revoke access to one or all files shared to one or all recipients. For example, you hire a freelancer and share your most confidential product and marketing documents with that person. However, a few weeks into the relationship, you realize that the person is not performing at the level required, so you want to terminate the engagement. But how do you find all files distributed to that person and revoke access quickly? The short answer, with those “competitors” is that you don’t. If you can even figure out what files are shared to that person, you have to revoke access to files one-by-one.


In the case of Google Drive, files aren’t even encrypted. While Dropbox does encrypt files at rest (while they are stored on Dropbox’s servers) and in motion (while they are transferred to and from Dropbox’s servers), Google does not.

FileString addresses all of these limitations, providing business and consumers with the file control and tracking capabilities they absolutely, positively need when they are distributing important, confidential files. To learn more, visit File Sharing… strings attached.

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FileString is an easy to use cloud-based service that attaches a digital string to the important files you share, so you can track and control how your recipients view, download and print your content.

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