Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

3 Reasons to Ditch Email Attachments

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Though attachments are often inconvenient, outdated and clunky, many of us still use them to send files to coworkers and friends. It’s an old habit that’s tough to break, despite the fact that better file-sharing solutions exist. If you’re still sending files the old-fashioned way, here are 3 big reasons to reconsider attaching that document:

Size limitations

While the maximum attachment size differs from service to service, it’s rare for it to exceed 50 mb. What happens if your coworkers want to send around a video for review, or if you’re trying to send a hi-res image to your design consultant? In a moment of desperation, you might even consider breaking up the file and sending it piece by piece (If you’ve had to resort to this in the past, you have my sympathy). Sadly, many people are still constrained by the attachment limitations of email services, which makes it difficult – and sometimes, plain impossible – for a company’s workers to collaborate.

The inevitable clutter

We’ve all experienced this moment: You need an important file right away, so you frantically search your inbox for every relevant term imaginable because you know it’s in there somewhere. And even if you find it, you’ve already wasted valuable time playing hide and seek with an important document instead of getting things done. Burying valuable content in your inbox (or someone else’s) is a surefire way to make everyone’s day a lot more stressful than it needs to be.

Security

Hands down, email attachments are one of the easiest ways to attack someone’s computer. Opening a malicious attachment can expose your computer (and possibly your company’s network) to any number of not-so-nice things, like worms, viruses, and security breaches. The problem: Anyone who has your email address can send you attachments, and spammers have developed clever methods to trick you into opening email messages from unknown senders. Because of the risk, many people flat-out refuse to receive attachments, and will ask others to paste the content of the document into the body of the email.

There’s hope, and a better way. Collaborating with Box and using shared links makes it easy for you to securely send files in a snap. Still insist on using attachments? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, too.

What finally convinced you to move on from attachments? Let us know in the comments below.