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Think Your Email is Secure? Think Again



July 14, 2014

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Email is not secure. Well, most of the time.

When we send email, we live with a false sense of security that nobody is reading our correspondence. While we know that technically a hacker could try to steal the contents of our email, for most of us this is not a functional reality.

So, armed with this false sense of security, we regularly send each other and ourselves sensitive business information and personal details we never would dare share with the world.

We are used to this privacy because letters mailed through the post office are relatively secure, and things like faxes and telephone calls are hard to intercept.

But email is both easy to intercept and usually not all that secure.

This is why companies such as Microsoft (News - Alert), Google and Apple are furiously working to add encryption to their email offerings. In the wake of an increasing number of security breaches and high-profile corporate extortion attempts, people are finally waking up to how insecure email and much of our digital communication actually is relative to our expectations. Our confidential email can be read.


Of course, we don’t need to wait until email becomes a widely secure medium. We already have secure digital communications options.

One of those secure options is fax-over-IP (FoIP). IP fax, through providers such as FaxSIPit, transmit by using HTTPS encryption. This is the same encryption used for credit card processing and banking online.

FoIP is both cheaper than existing fax technology, and delivers not only added security but also extra features such as automatic document routing and mobility; faxes can now be sent and received via mobile phone or iPad.

Businesses that want to ensure their communications are safe today do not need to invest in a lot of new technology, either. AudioCodes’ (News - Alert) fax ATA technology enables businesses to retrofit their existing fax machines and multifunction printers for IP transmission. Existing equipment can easily and cheaply be converted into FoIP equipment.

There will come a day when email is uniformly secure, but that day is not today. In the meantime, businesses that value security need to be mindful of what they send through unsecure email. Technologies such as FoIP can help bridge the gap while firms wait for better security through email.

 

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