Why It's Not OK to Use Personal Dropbox Accounts for Work

One common instance of the drive for convenience leading to poor security—and poor business practice—is the use of personal file syncing accounts, such as Dropbox, for work purposes. Perhaps an employee uses his personal Dropbox account to access work files at home. Or a CEO uses her personal Dropbox account to share a file for review with an important potential client.

While it may seem like the employee is simply taking praiseworthy initiative and that the CEO is taking necessary steps to grow the business, the use of personal file-syncing accounts is highly problematic from a technical perspective for at least two reasons.

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Why Box is Still Better Than Dropbox for Business

Box, Dropbox, and the Cloud Solution Landscape

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We're hearing from more and more businesses who want to take operations to the cloud. This is especially the case when it comes to file storage: in-house file servers are looking a lot less attractive when there are inexpensive and easy-to-use cloud services available. The concern, of course, has always been security. But cloud technology has matured to the point where it really is viable for numerous businesses to store and share files securely in the cloud.

Still, some cloud services have matured more than others. The two biggest solutions that we deal with on a daily basis are Dropbox and Box. For a long time, our answer to the question "Which is better for business?" was a simple an easy one: Box is the better solution for business, while Dropbox is better for personal use.

Last fall, though, Dropbox rolled out Dropbox for Business, which complicates matters. So, is there still a clear winner for business use? We think so.

Security and Business-Class Functionality: Why Box is Still Better

The bottom line is that Dropbox is late to the cloud hosting for business game. They're doing what they can to catch up, but they're still behind in some important ways.

The biggest issue with Dropbox is the interplay between business and personal accounts on a single machine. Dropbox has announced features that allow users to access and toggle between both kinds of accounts. So, if used properly, security shouldn't be an issue . . . but that's a pretty big if, since to some degree it's up to the user to make sure the right files end up in the right account.

Furthermore, Box offers other business-class features that Dropbox doesn't have. Its administrative controls and reporting features are still far more robust, facilitating audit trails for both users and files. And Box offers more collaboration tools, such as document commenting and task management features.

So, for the time being at least, our recommended solution in most cases is still Box. It's the clear winner in the business game, especially when it comes to business-class security and administrative features. All of this makes Box the safer bet, which is always good when it comes to IT and business.

Feel free to reach out if you'd like to talk about how Box might benefit your business.