Although faxing seems like an obsolete means of communication, it’s also considered a safe way to send business files to distant locations.
However, companies moving toward a paperless workflow, like those still using old devices, prioritize security. But the question remains, is faxing secure?
Let’s examine the benefits of a secure fax service compared to email service providers.
In the end, you can decide which option guarantees your files’ security.
Email vs. fax: Why you should embrace faxing
Many industries rely on faxing for sharing confidential information.
Email may be more convenient, but here are reasons you should stick with fax for security:
1. Higher level of encryption
Is a fax secure as it travels across the internet? Absolutely!
Fax services use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to enforce the security of end-to-end transmissions. This security protocol makes hacking almost impossible.
Conversely, email encryption is tricky: both the sender and recipient must have compatible encryption software to ensure airtight security.
Even when you use encrypted email services like Gmail, you cannot account for the protection of the recipient’s email address.
2. Adherence to compliance
Medical and financial institutions encounter greater scrutiny when it comes to data sharing.
Regulatory bodies like GDPR, HIPAA, and FERPA demand compliance from institutions that constantly deal with sensitive user or patient information.
They can penalize companies for compliance risks if they don’t keep fax secure.
For instance, only authorized recipients can receive digital faxes.
The network fax server software must also provide the digital trail of incoming and outgoing correspondence.
With this evidence, organizations can show regulators that they comply with data security rules.
3. File sharing
You might struggle to send large files via email because most mail service providers enforce limits to the size of attachments you can upload.
As a result, you will have to compress your files to ensure everything goes through.
However, digital faxing solutions allow you to send large files without worrying about storage or compression.
And many fax service providers offer unlimited fax storage to accommodate the sharing of large files.
4. Security for legal documents
Emails are susceptible to fraud, manipulation, and hacking, which makes documents sent through this communication medium inadmissible as legal documents in a court of law.
However, documents sent via digital fax are typically admissible in court as acceptable evidence. Also, business contracts approved using faxed signatures can be legally binding.
5. Email-to-fax service
An exciting feature of digital fax providers is that you can send faxes using email addresses.
Apart from mobile fax apps or a web-based portal, you can learn how to fax online safely via email.
Also, the email-to-fax option updates you on the status of your delivery via email.
You can track the document in transit and verify if the fax was delivered successfully.
6. Delivery confirmation
There’s generally no delivery confirmation for email messaging unless you use a third-party plugin.
So you can’t tell if the recipient has received your document or if it got lost in the spam folder.
However, online fax services make it easy to track transmission success or failure.
For instance, PandaDoc Online Fax notifies you via email about the delivery status of your sent documents.
You can also access audit logs or transmission reports to confirm your sent history.
4 things you can send securely using digital faxing solutions
Your fax server software must ensure the transmission of confidential files in a secure, encrypted environment.
Let’s consider a few documents you can send via fax:
Credit card information
Usually, you should be wary of giving out your credit card information.
But when it’s unavoidable, how secure is faxing your credit card data?
As a general rule, consider the recipient of this precious information.
If you are sending billing information to another company, make sure the receiving party has a system for disposing of your sensitive information afterward.
We’re all required to file our taxes, but make sure you’re not dealing with fraudulent people when you do.
Always look for the correct government fax number or address to ensure the documents are heading to the real IRS.
If your accountant wants to send your tax documents, ensure the office uses a secure faxing service.
You can also attach a confidential cover sheet to your tax folder if you’re unsure who’ll get a hold of your message.
Healthcare is one of the industries that still use physical fax machines to transfer medical records.
You can rest easy knowing that this type of data transfer is highly regulated, as expected when dealing with confidential information.
Just make sure you choose an online service that is HIPAA-compliant.
Social Security numbers
You should always protect your SSN, because if it falls into the wrong hands your identity could become compromised.
Use a reverse number search to confirm that where you are sending that info is legit. While digital faxing is safe, as a general rule be extra cautious when sending such information via fax.
Compared to email, faxing is a more secure way of sharing information.
Although document sharing via email has benefits, it presents huge security risks for sensitive business secrets and personal information.
That’s why companies who deal with sensitive information still fax those files rather than send them via email.
PandaDoc Online Fax is a free faxing solution for anyone who wants to fax securely from the comfort of their screens.
It allows users to send multiple pages of documents from anywhere in the world.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, fax machines are secure. They use high-level encryption to secure your files from being intercepted as they travel between locations.
Hackers will find it hard to steal your files because of the robust security protocols installed to keep data encrypted.
Unless necessary, you should never send your private information by fax. You must confirm that the number corresponds with the company requesting your sensitive details before faxing them.
In general, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or tax documents should be handled with great care.
Medical institutions and public service agencies fax personal information all the time.
However, they use online services that are compliant with different industry and data privacy regulations.
Before you agree to fax personal information, make sure the recipient’s number is accurate and use only secure solutions.