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Email is Not as Secure as You Think

March 24, 2014

 By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Most people don’t realize that email is insecure. But unless you specifically use email encryption software (which often is hard to set up), it is best to think of your email much the same way that you think of messages written on the back of postcards.

It is relatively easy for cybercriminals to intercept and copy email on its way to its intended destination, the theft unknown to either sender or receiver since email can be copied on its way to its final destination.

While it feels secure since a computer might have a password, and a Web-based email client such as Gmail uses secure browser technology, the network chain from sender to receiver has many places where such email communication can be intercepted.

One alternative to insecure email is modern fax technology. It can easily be used in conjunction with email to deliver easy, secure communications that is harder to achieve with email.

Old-style faxes offer their own set of security challenges—sensitive faxes can rest in the destination fax machine, and it is possible to intercept traditional faxes as well (but not as easily as email).

But there’s a way to make fax more secure: fax-over-IP (FoIP). FoIP does for fax what voice-over-IP (VoIP) does for voice, which is move the technology over the IP network. This can eliminate some of the security challenges of fax while simultaneously delivering some of the benefits of email.

Instead of having faxes sitting at a fax machine after transmission, FoIP faxes are transmitted electronically and can arrive directly to smartphones or laptops, avoiding the issue of having the documents lie around unattended.

What’s more, FoIP can help make sure that sensitive documents reach their intended destination; with FoIP, faxes can be routed to the right party automatically, making sure there are not a lot of hands between the sender and the receiver.

FoIP also is more secure than email. That’s because whereas email goes unprotected through the Internet in most cases, subject to many places where it can be silently intercepted, FoIP fax documents are encrypted and secure.

One company to consider when looking at secure fax is FoIP provider, FaxSIPit. It uses technology that delivers properly encrypted fax documents.


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