FileGuardian Tutorial: FileGuardian Express

Welcome to the FileGuardian tutorial for FileGuardian Express (FGX). This tutorial will provide information on the FileGuardian Express process, enabling and disabling FGX, setting up File Name Patterns and reporting. All aspects of FGX can be found under the MY ACCOUNT icon on the homepage.

Once you are in the My Account area, select the FileGuardian Express tab. In order to utilize FGX, you must enable the FileGuardian Express add-on.  To do this, see the appendix to learn how to enable/disable FileGuardian Express.

To get started, proceed to the “Setup” tab.  In this area, set the Administrator Email. This email address will receive all primary communication regarding FileGuardian Express. 

FileGuardian Express Software Install:

Once you have enabled FileGuardian Express and set your administrator email address, you can now install the FileGuardian Express client software on  the computer that contains the files you want to have sent automatically.

Simply log onto that computer, then open up a web browser and log into the FileGuardian website (  Inside of FileGuardian, navigate back to My Account, then to the FileGuardian Express area.  Scroll down to the Registered FileGuardian Express Computers section, then click the Add button on the right.  A window will open that will allow you to download the FileGuardian Express software.

The FileGuardian Express software installer will download as a ZIP file (  Save the file to your computer, then open the ZIP file and extract the two files that are inside (FileGuardianExpress.msi and setup.exe).  Once both files are extracted, run setup.exe.  This will start the setup process.

Note that the FileGuardian Express software is built on top of the Microsoft .Net Framework platform (version 3.5 SP1.)  Many editions of Microsoft’s operating systems already have the Microsoft .Net Framework pre-installed.  However, if it is not already installed, the FileGuardian Express setup program will install it for you.  The .Net Framework install may a few minutes to download and install, and at the end it may prompt you to reboot the computer.  If so, once the computer comes back up and you log back in, simply go back and run the setup.exe again to continue where you left off.

A series of screens will guide you through the install process itself.  First, read and indicate your agreement with the FileGuardian Express license agreement.  Next, choose the install location of the FileGuardian Express software itself.  Note: that the install location is simply location where the software will live; and not where the files you wish to send automatically live – that will be set later on.

The very last step of the setup process is the FileGuardian configuration screen.

The Folder To Monitor specifies the folder on this computer that FileGuardian Express will watch for files.  The Success Folder is the directory where FileGuardian Express will move files to after it processes the file.  If FileGuardian picks up a file for processing, but it cannot send it, it will be moved to the Error Folder.  

After you choose the Folder To Monitor, the success and error folders will be defaulted automatically (as two new subfolders within the folder to monitor.) If need be, you can override each to any other folder on the computer. 

The Include Subfolders? checkbox tells FileGuardian Express whether or not to not only process files in the monitor folder, but in all of its in its subfolders.

It is important to note that FileGuardian Express will attempt to process every file in the monitor folder.  This happens regardless of whether a File Name Pattern has been set up for the file or not.  For that reason, you will want to make sure that the folder you chose to monitor is empty (or at least, does not have any files in it do not have file name patterns defined.)  Otherwise, as soon as the install is complete, FileGuardian Express will try to process those files but be unable to because there is no File Name Pattern.  As a result, those existing files would all end up being moved to the Error folder.

After the folders have been set, click the Register FGX button.  You will be prompted to enter your FileGuardian username and password.

After clicking register, you will receive a message letting you know that the registration was successful. 

At this point, the software portion of the install is complete, and FileGuardian Express is running on your computer.  FileGuardian Express will check the monitor folder once every 10 minutes, and process any new files that were saved there.

Establishing a File Name Pattern:

 File name patterns are used by FileGuardian Express to determine message settings including the desired recipients for a secure automatic file delivery. Let’s move forward to the File Name Pattern setup. To add a new File Name Pattern, click the “Add New” button.

Step 1 – Choose the File Type and the File Naming Pattern.

Select the type of file to send

  • Choose from the type of file from the available file type dropdown list.  To help with commonly sent files, we’ve populated this list with a number of file types including PDF, CSV, Excel, Text, etc…  If you need a send a file type that’s now in the already list, simply add a new one using the “** Add New **” option.
  • Choose if your file name will start or end with specific text
  • Typically, files that you’re using FGX to send automatically contain some sort of client identifier in the file name itself, either at the start of the file name or at the end.  Look at the files you are going to send via FGX and enter if they start or end with a specific name pattern.

For example, if I needed to automate the delivery of a file named 1234_reports.txt, I’d note that the file name starts with the text ‘1234’.  1234 is my client identifier.  In this case, I would setup a File Name Pattern that starts with ‘1234. 

Sometimes you have files which start or end with the same characters/text but should be delivered to different recipients. By adding a “contains” set of characters, you can then direct output based on a file start or end value with an additional set of criteria.

For example, if a file name “starts with 1234” and contains “401k” it should be sent to Joe Smith. If a file name “starts with 1234” and contains “Payroll” it should be sent to Mary Jones.

If you don’t require this level of granularity, leave the “contains” empty and then any file which starts with “ABCD” will be delivered to your selected recipients.

After the information is entered, click next at the bottom.

Step 2 Select the Recipient(s) for this Pattern.

The step allows you to choose who FileGuardian Express will deliver files for this file name pattern.  You have two options: 1) choose from a recipient already in your address book or 2) add a new recipient never sent to before. There is no maximum amount of recipients but there must be at least one recipient to move to the next step.  Once a recipient(s) is added, click next at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3 Setting the Message Options

Setting the Keyword/Tag:

  • When creating a file name pattern for FileGuardian Express, you will want to organize all the patterns you have based on an identifier other than the client the files will be delivered to. With the KEYWORD, you have your way to organize all your patterns just like you can organize a standard blog post.
  • For example, you may want to organize your file name patterns by client vs. vendor vs. partner. To do this, you can create keywords for each of these values and then tie a pattern to one of these keywords. You can then go back to the complete list of file name patterns you have defined and filter the list by this keyword.

Choosing Sender/From Account:

  • Choose who you want this File Name Pattern to be sent from. Click on the arrow for the drop down box to appear and select the sender from the list. This list is associated with the list of users on your FileGuardian account.

Determining the Subject of your message:

  • Write any email subject you want or choose from the templates. These templates can be created by going to the My Account section under the Branding tab. Any template you create there will be accessible in the Send a File and File Name Pattern process. If you choose a template, the body of your message will appear automatically in the appropriate box. These templates are helpful when sending the same messages to different recipients.

 Creating the Body of Your message:

  • If a template is used, the body of the message will be in the box. If no template is used, type in the body of the message in the text box.

Setting the Link Availability and Delivery Confirmation:

  • Choose the default number of days for your FileGuardian account or set a custom number of days. This determines how many days from when the file is sent will your recipients have to download.

Set your delivery confirmation settings.  By selecting Yes, the sender you’ve chosen above will receive an email once files are downloaded by the selected recipients for this file name pattern.  This is FileGuardian’s equivalent to FedEx and UPS delivery confirmation.

Step 4 Review your Pattern and Save.
After clicking “Save”, you will be taken back to the File Name Pattern startup page. If you click “Save and Add New”, your file name pattern will be saved and you’ll be taken you back to Step 1: Define the File Name Pattern.

Edit a previously entered File Name Pattern:

To Edit a previously entered File Name Pattern click on the edit button next to the file you wish to edit. There are a few things that can be changed in the edit process. For instance, the type of file, the file name pattern, the recipient(s) list, contents of the message, and link availability options.

If you want to change the type of file, choose from the drop down list:

Be sure to click “Save” to validate your changes have been made. A success bar will appear to notify you your changes have been accepted.

The same format will appear as it did in the Add New File Name Pattern process. Select from your address book or add a new recipient.

After you add the information a Success Bar will appear validating the changes to recipients.


How to Enable/Disable FileGuardian Express.

The status of FileGuardian Express is easy to see.  A checked “Enable FileGuardian Express” checkbox indicates FGX is enabled.  An unchecked box, indicates FGX is not enabled.

To enable FGX, click on the checkbox.  Once checked, the following message will display with the FileGuardian Express Terms and Conditions.  Click the “I Accept” button to accept these terms to enable FGX. 

To disable FGX, simply uncheck the “Enable FileGuardian Express” checkbox.

Last, confirm that you truly want to disable FGX by emailing our customer service team at with the name of your company. A member of our team will fully disable FGX for you within one business hour.


AOL Email Delivery Issue

It came to our attention late yesterday that some email messages sent from FileGuardian to AOL email addresses were being delayed or worse yet, not delivered at all.   Immediately, our team researched and found that this sporadic AOL delivery issue was first experienced on July 25th.  We wanted to take a few minutes to inform you of this situation, catch you up on immediate remediation steps we have taken, inform of you steps we’ll continue to make in FileGuardian to ensure this is not experienced again and provide you with our contact information for any questions or comments you may have.

Before I get into the issue, I wanted to share that we understand email is the heart of FileGuardian’s communication.  Experiencing an intermittent, isolated issue like this is something we’re deeply concerned about and one we’re disappointed has happened.  For the last day, steps have been taken to provide immediate resolution for this issue.  In addition, we’ve identified and continue to identify future plans to limit the occurrence of something like this happening again.

For a detailed look at the issue, please read below.  Typically we like to keep things short and sweet but in this case, we wanted to make sure we shared with you all we know and all we are doing to prevent this from happening in the future.  As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to get in contact with me directly at 1-888-95-SHUGO (47486) x.703 or

What happened?

The answer to what happened is simple: emails sent to AOL email addresses on files sent to clients through FileGuardian were either delayed in delivery or not delivered at all.  This means that in some cases, clients were never notified that a secure file download was available for them.

How this happened is something we’re continuing to dig through but here’s what we know.  When emails are sent via FileGuardian, they are actually sent through a third party email service provider we’ve partnered with who focuses solely on email delivery.  This provider ensures that emails sent from FileGuardian are seen in the email system as safe and not treated as spam.  Again, we realize email is the heart of all FileGuardian communication which is why we chose to outsource the email delivery to a company solely focused on this task.

In the last few weeks, a large number secure file download emails from FileGuardian were sent to AOL email servers for AOL email addresses.  Unfortunately, approximately 35% of these emails experienced an issue.  The AOL email servers either told our email provider to try again later (which we did continually for the next two hours) or flat out rejected the email message.  Some of the answers the AOL servers gave us include:

  • Service unavailable – try again later
  • The IP address you are sending from has been temporarily rate limited due to lack of whitelisting, unexpected changes in volume or poor IP reputation.

Being that we outsourced email delivery to a reputable company, our thought is that the “unexpected changes in volume” from FileGuardian is what caused the issue.  In the last few months, we’ve seen the number of files sent from FileGuardian increasing day by day.

What have we done so far?

To start, we identified every email message that ultimately didn’t make it to your clients with AOL email addresses.  Through the night and into this afternoon, we resent all these messages to ensure your clients had access to the file downloads you’ve sent.  Our team monitored each message to ensure delivery to the AOL email servers and verified a successful receipt.   Your clients will have now received the secure file download email from FileGuardian that they should’ve received the moment you sent files.

Next, we’re working closely with our email server provider to identify proactive monitoring for situations like this, if they ever arise again.  We’re focusing this effort on an overall monitoring plan, and not solely on AOL email delivery.  We want to know the instant an email is not delivered successfully so proactive remediation steps can be taken.

Last, we’ve reached out to AOL directly.  We’re working with them to ensure that all email messages from FileGuardian are properly received in the future.

What we’re going to do in the future?

In the future, we’re committed to continually monitoring to ensure email messages are successfully delivered.  In addition, we’re evaluating the use of multiple email service providers to load-balance the delivery of email messages generated from FileGuardian.  This will help in situations where an “unexpected change in volume” causes a receiving email server to reject the message.

Last, we are going to reach out to companies (like 37Signals) who produce software applications which rely heavily on email for communication.  We’re going to pick their brains to understand the challenges they face and what they’ve done in order to ensure successful email delivery, particularly in cases like we just experienced.


Know that we are committed to guarding your business information as we continually strive to keep your trust in the secure exchange of your sensitive information.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.  I can be reached directly at 1-888.95-SHUGO (47486) x.703 or

FileGuardian – Configure Your Lockout Policy

Most of us do online banking or pay some sort of bill online.  To access web sites like these, we’re required to have a username and password, referred to as your credentials.  Typically, failure to enter your credentials correctly after a few attempts results in your user account being locked out. Though it’s a nuisance, a forced lockout is a good thing.   It ensures that authenticity of your credentials and verifies that someone is not trying to hack into your online account.

With FileGuardian’s configurable lockout policy, you determine the course of action to be taken when recipients enter in an invalid access code on file downloads.  To configure your lockout policy, you must be logged in as a FileGuardian administrator and follow the steps outlined below.

1. Navigate to the My Account \ Security page.

2. The “Send File Security Settings” section towards the bottom of this page will allow you configure and save your lockout policy. 

3. Your lockout policy is comprised of the following:

Invalid Attempt Threshold – this is a number of invalid access code entries your policy will tolerate.  For example, if you set this value to three, on the third invalid access code entry by a file download recipient, your lockout policy will be enforced by FileGuardian.

Lockout Rule – your lockout rule determines if the file download recipient will be forced into a lockout period when they’ve hit the invalid attempt threshold.  For example, you can define that when a recipient enters their access code wrong three times in a row, FileGuardian will immediately lockout that recipient for 30 minutes.  You can conversely decide not to enforce a lockout period at all when your invalid attempt threshold is hit.  The choice is up to you. 

What happens if a recipient is locked out? How will you and the recipient know?

FileGuardian will let you know if a recipient is locked out with a proactive email notification the moment the lockout is forced on a recipient.  Your file download recipient will also know the moment they are locked out from as they will be taken to a “locked out” page.

For example, let’s say your lockout rule is set to lockout a client for 30 minutes after 3 invalid access code attempts.  After the third failed attempt, you’ll receive an email like this.

As you can see, the email provides 1) the recipient being locked, 2) the date the lockout will be enforced until, and 3) the message subject attempted to be accessed when the lockout occurred.

Your file download recipient will see the screen below immediately.

What if your recipient (client) needs access to that file ASAP?  Can you “lift” the lockout?

Yes.  You can easily release the lockout imposed.  To do this, log into the FileGuardian website at and follow the steps below.

1. Navigate to the My Files area and use the search box to search for the recipient that is locked.  Select the locked out recipient from the list that displays as you are typing.

2 On the recipient detail page, you’ll see their current status.  Note that RED box indicating they are locked; a GREEN box indicates this recipient is NOT locked.  For locked out recipients, the lockout date (the date the lockout will be enforced until) will be displayed.

3. To “lift” the lockout and set this recipient back to active status, simply reset their access code using the “Reset Access Code” link.

4. After entering in a new access code, click the save button.  You’ll instantly see the recipient’s current status be converted to “active” status along with a message stating the access code has been reset.  This recipient can now go and download the file sent to them through FileGuardian with the new access code you’ve just set.

How To: Fix a Contact’s Email Address and Resend a File

If you’ve sent a file using FileGuardian to a contact whose email address is incorrect, the good news is that it only takes a few seconds to correct the email address and send the file again using FileGuardian’s Resend function.
  1. Log into FileGuardian, and navigate to the My Files area.

2. Locate the contact’s record.  The easiest way to find the contact is to use the search box in the upper right hand side of the page.


3. Once you have opened the contact’s record, click the Edit link (positioned to the right of the contact’s name.)


4. Correct the contact’s email address, then Save.


5. Back in the contact’s record, find the entry for the file that failed to send.  Click the subject line to open it.

6. The details of the message will open up. Note that the contact’s email address has changed inside the original message.

Click the resend button at the bottom of the window to send the file to the corrected email address.