Is it safe to send documents via email?

Sending documents via email can be safe.

It often depends on your email providers of choice and whether or not you add extra layers of security.

You can, for example, encrypt email attachments, password-protect certain files, or choose to use file-sharing or document workflow software to send your important documents instead.

How secure is email?

Your email service provider, whether it’s Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or something else, likely includes some basic email security settings and features.

A junk mail function (or spam) and encryption functions are common ways to keep hackers at bay. 

Security threats are a constantly moving target, however, and one of the most important things you can do as an email sender is to practice sound judgment around your sensitive documents and data. 

This applies to opening and interacting with emails that you send and receive, and other activities you do online. 

If you send a document for electronic signature, you want it to reach your intended recipient, and only them, safely.

You don’t want to be worrying about exposing privileged information or breaching confidentiality and leaving your organization vulnerable. 

Email is as secure as you make it.

If you follow cybersecurity advice, such as not opening links from unknown senders or checking the email address of the sender and not just the name, you can make your emails a lot more secure. 

Is it safe to send personal information through email?

If you want to send personal information via email, you should use a very secure system to do so.

Any information that can be used to identify you could potentially also be used to gain access to areas of your life that are private or personal and used for phishing, cyberattacks, or even identity theft. 

Is it safe to send a copy of a driver’s license by email?

Generally speaking, this is not a safe option.

It would be more secure to drop your driver’s license off in person or use a courier to reduce your security risk.

Your driver’s license includes your ID number and home address, both of which are very important to keep private and secure. 

Is it safe to send a birth certificate through email?

Your birth certificate is the most important document for proving your identity.

If this falls into the wrong hands, you can become a victim of identity fraud.

Consider safer methods such as a file-sharing service or in-person delivery of your secure document.

Is it secure to email banking information?

A much better option would be to use a file-sharing service or in-person delivery of your information.

Hackers can use banking information to steal your money and make purchases using your details. 

Is it safe to send tax documents via email?

Tax documents contain a lot of personal information about you and sensitive data that makes it easy for people to impersonate you or use that information for scams.

It’s essential, then, that you only use very secure options to send tax documents, such as a file-sharing service or in-person delivery of your document.

How to send documents securely via email

There are a number of ways to send documents securely via email: 

Using an encrypted email service

Encryption is a basic email security option for sending personal information via email.

You often find PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), Transport Layer Security (TLS), and end-to-end encryption solutions are used to help prevent data breaches. 

Pretty Good Privacy is an encryption program with cryptographic privacy and authentication features.

The purpose of TLS is to securely send information over the internet without malicious third parties being able to intercept it. 

End-to-end encryption starts before you send an email and then decrypts the email after it arrives in your recipient’s inbox.

The email message is encrypted with a public key to protect the contents of the message between sending and receiving. 

Encrypt attachments

If you want to attach a scanned document to an email that contains sensitive information, you can encrypt the email if both you and the recipient are using the same encryption systems. 

However, when the sender and the receiver are using different providers and standards for encryption, that makes encrypting emails tricky.

One solution is to encrypt only the attachment. 

You can do this by using the .zip standard – either 7-zip or WinZip.

You zip your docs and upload them to your email, and your intended recipient unzips them on their end to see the contents. 

Password-protect files

Another option is to password-protect files so that only someone who has the password can access the sensitive information. 

If you want to password-protect a Microsoft Word document, you can:

  1. Create the Word file and then click Save As, choosing an appropriate name.
  2. Select Info from the File drop-down menu.
  3. Next to Permissions click on Protect Document.
  4. Select Encrypt with Password from the menu.
  5. You then type in your password and keep it noted somewhere because it’s unrecoverable. 
  6. Hit the OK button. Now your file is password-protected!

Using document sharing software

There are several document sharing tools available, some of which you can download and others that you can use online, often via cloud storage.

WeTransfer, Dropbox, and Google Drive are three such software options with different file size options available depending on your needs and budget. 

You can use a lot of these software tools for free if you only have a couple of documents you want to send, or you can opt for a paid plan if you regularly share sensitive information as part of your business. 

A more secure way of sending documents via email

Sending documents via email is not automatically a secure process, but you can add layers of security by using the options we outlined above.

The level of your data security will depend in part on your email account type. 

You can, however, choose to encrypt specific email attachments, password-protect your files, or use secure file-sharing software to keep confidential information secure.

Alternatively, you can trust all your document workflow needs to PandaDoc.

Creating, collaborating on, and sharing documents is quick, simple, and secure. Schedule a demo to learn more.