Why Faxes are NOT Safe

Faxes are not safe? How can that be? I put a piece of paper on my fax machine, dial a phone number and hit send, and my intended recipient has the document, right? Or does it?

But faxing a document doesn not insure that your sensitive information is not at risk. Fax machines, like all technologies, have security risks. The most notable fax issues are that the faxed document will sometimes not reach its intended destination. This is due to both human error (wrong number dialed) or technical issues (poor communication lines, incompatible equipment, and more).

While there are fax security issues, one of the main benefits of a fax is that unlike an e-mail attachment, a fax document is an image file and, therefore, is inherently not an editable file. That means that it is less likely that no one can alter the original itself to embed another program within it, meaning a fax can never cause a computer virus or worm to invade your network.

Technology may be a wonderful thing, but it does come with new concerns and problems. In the old days (yes I said the old days!), we put our document in a fax machine and sent directly to another fax machine via the telephone lines. Security was only an issues based on who was on the other end that could see the fax once received. So we called our intended party when sending sensitive documents and let them know they were coming. Hopefully safe!.

But what if the receiving institutions fax machine is in a more public area. Others would then have access to your senstive information. Or worse still, you or the recievier are using an Efax service and emailing the fax transmission to the Efax server. With new technology comes new concerns. If you as the sender are using Efax, you are scanning and  sending the file through email to the efax server and then they in turn make that phone call sending it from their phone lines? And as we are all beginning to understand e-mail is just not a safe way to send a document which contains sensitive information.

Even if you are using a stand alone fax machine, an almost out of date device, the receiver may be using an Efax service, So, although you sent the document safely on your end, there end most likely uses email. And once again your sensitive document is not safe.

So how do we get around this problem. The most effective way available today is to use Secure Client Portals. Which is why our firm has taken the effort to provide you with this means to transfer documents to and from you.

For more information on this or other topics, feel free to contact our offices.