From clients’ Social Security numbers to intellectual property and trade secrets, handling sensitive information is commonplace for many businesses. So, maintaining safety while transferring data is necessary.
While faxing is an outdated service compared to email and the cloud, companies still massively use it. Let’s take a look at ways to ensure airtight protection while faxing.
Implement Security Practices
Stack overflows are the easiest ways for hackers to access sensitive information.
However, manufacturers caught up on the issue and released patches to introduce standard protections against this malicious attack. As long as you keep your systems updated, you’ll prevent most vulnerabilities.
Furthermore, your IT administrators could introduce authentication checks to devices inside your network, preventing unauthorized persons from initiating printing.
Another issue is your phone line. Since you’re plugging your printer into a dial-up modem, there’s an additional attack avenue to consider. The best way to go about this problem is to segregate the printers, putting each in a separate system.
That way, even if a hacker takes control of your printer, they won’t be able to penetrate the central network.
Include a Cover Page
There’s not a lot of room for complicated digital security protocols with faxing. Adding a physical cover page can make a massive difference though.
Plus, these pages are a requirement for staying HIPAA compliant. In this case, you have to use a cover sheet containing the approved statement for each transfer. Many fax machine providers adhere to the same rules, making these cover pages a standard workflow section and reducing the necessary effort on your end.
Even if such restrictions don’t bind you, adding a cover page on top of your documents is a way to prevent prying eyes from seeing the sensitive bits of information. You can even use templates – Microsoft has them – as a part of its faxing service.
Use Online Fax Services
Finally, while many people still use this transfer method, not everybody owns a fax machine.
Luckily, online services bridge this gap, boasting regular machine benefits through the internet without any need for extra hardware. If you go for the right service, you’ll also add an extra layer of security to your transfers. Consider the following while choosing a provider:
- The SSL encryption– The provider should use a secure tunnel to protect your data as you’re sending or receiving it.
- Cloud storage– Fax companies sometimes also provide secure cloud storage, letting you keep all sensitive data in one place. If you decide to use it, first check the reputability of the cloud service.
- The platform– If the provider offers an interface for your faxing jobs, check the connections to ensure no credentials can leak.
As one Internet fax company explains, you can use these services to send and receive data by email, online, or in-app, making it as convenient as it gets. Back your choice with research and this option lets you maximize the benefits while removing most of the drawbacks.
The Bottom Line
Finally, although faxing is a service full of potential loopholes, it’s not a massive focus for cybercriminals. It has its share of drawbacks, but your shared information will stay safe with the right protective practices.
Implement the right digital and physical protection measures, never share sensitive data with a shady online provider, and your data transfers will stay 100% protected.