How tracking shared files helps these three companies

Colm Larkin

August 4, 2015

File tracking illustration by Luke Bott


Most of the time, it’s simply about hitting the SEND IT button and knowing that your hard work has been delivered on time. As illustrator Ben Sanders so memorably puts it, “Hightail is like the Little Red Caboose, finishing the job after all the huffing and chuffing up the mountain.”

Kubo and the Two Strings by LAIKA
Photo courtesy of LAIKA

But for many Hightail users, sharing a file is just the beginning. What happens next is equally important. Security is crucial at LAIKA, the animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated movies, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline, as well as the forthcoming Kubo and the Two Strings (pictured right). Though all of the main production work on a feature film is done in-house, LAIKA also needs to share clips and full HD videos with external studio partners and marketing agencies.

“When we’re in the middle of production, I’m sharing up to 10 Hightail links every day,” explains Manager of Media Services, Martin Pelham. “Preserving the movie-going experience and managing how information is made public is always at the forefront of our minds when we’re making a movie. That’s why I need to have control over who has access to our video files. I usually limit the number of downloads and I’ll always track who downloaded a file. I abuse the hell out of those features.”

Tracking files has uses beyond security. San Francisco-based design firm Awasu Design first used Hightail when it won a contract with a major bank and needed a secure alternative to sharing files by email. But founder and CEO Craig Peters notes that it also helped him focus his attention on the most relevant issues.

“Hightail has an awesome security reputation,” he says, “and I also like that I can see who has accessed files, so I have an idea of who’s up to speed with the latest material before starting a conversation.”

This idea resonates with golf photographer Kevin Murray who uses Hightail’s Activity Tracker to anticipate issues with his clients that include St. Andrews Links Trust, Golf Monthly and Footjoy.

“Being able to see how many times files have been downloaded is a good way to know if there is a potential problem,” Kevin explains. “Multiple times may mean they have been passed on to others for a second opinion. It’s useful to be prepared for situations like that.”

St Andrew's 11th hole photograph by Kevin Murray


If you need to ensure your work doesn’t fall into the wrong hands or just want to stay ahead of things, track your shared files from your computer or mobile device with Hightail.

To try it out, sign up for an account or log in now at Tracking is available to Hightail Professional users — learn more about our Pro plan.

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