How Secure is a Fax?

 How Secure is a Fax?

Faxing remains a convenient method of document sharing for many businesses, requiring only a phone number for communication. It’s widely used for sending invoices, sales contracts, legal agreements, medical records, and more, both through traditional fax machines and modern online fax services.

Today, faxing options have expanded significantly, such as secure document delivery solutions from etherFAX. Rather than relying solely on physical machines connected to landlines, individuals can now fax directly from their computers or smartphones. User-friendly fax apps offer convenient access anytime and anywhere. Importantly, these modern options maintain the security and reliability associated with traditional faxing methods, providing both portability and robust security in a single solution.

Are Faxes Secure?

People frequently inquire: is faxing personal information secure?

Security remains a primary factor that underscores the importance of faxing in business communication. Unlike internet-based methods, fax machines operate through telephone lines, which significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access to private documents.

However, as an additional precaution, it’s advisable for users to promptly archive or securely dispose of any hard copy documents after sending or receiving them. This step helps prevent potential unauthorized access to sensitive information, especially when using public facilities or shared devices, such as fax machines in libraries or office service stores.

Why Should I Fax When I Can Just Attach the Documents to an Email and Hit Send?

While you could use email to send sensitive documents, we wouldn’t recommend it for several reasons:

Risk of Compromise: Email addresses, particularly those used across various online services and social media networks, are susceptible to hacking. This can grant unauthorized access to your account and any attached documents.

Lack of Encryption: Even if your account isn’t hacked, your emails and attachments could still be intercepted. For example, while services like Gmail have robust security features, the actual content of your emails and attachments is not encrypted and remains vulnerable. For additional protection, a third-party solution providing client-side encryption is necessary.

Increased Caution with Email: Email is a major attack vector, with malware attacks rising by 600% compared to 2019, according to security reports. Consequently, both personal and business users are relying less on email for sensitive documents. Unrecognized email addresses can lead recipients to mark messages as spam or delete them, resulting in miscommunications and missed opportunities.

Large Files in Transit: Large documents can take longer to transmit and consume significant inbox space for both sender and recipient. There is also a risk of the send failing due to the document’s size.

Greater Organization and Efficiency: Using fax, either online or offline, can provide greater efficiency. Documents are kept separate from email and cloud-based platforms, allowing for faster and easier access within a single application.

No Delivery Confirmation: Email lacks delivery confirmation, so you may not know if your document reached its intended recipient. To confirm email delivery and opening, you would need to use a third-party solution integrated into your email program.

For these reasons, alternative methods such as faxing may offer better security and reliability for sending important documents.

How Secure are Online Fax Services?

Online fax services provide a secure and convenient method for sending personal information and sensitive documents.

When you use an online fax platform, your document is encrypted during transmission to safeguard any sensitive information it may contain. Incoming faxes are delivered directly to your inbox, ensuring that your information stays private and confidential.

Who Uses Fax Machines or Fax Services Nowadays?

In many industries, such as medical and legal, faxed documents are considered legally valid and binding.

Lawyers often prefer using faxes to create a paper trail for cases, as it is easier to manage than sifting through emails and attachments. Fax communication is instantaneous and provides a time-stamped piece of evidence in court.

In healthcare, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs the sharing of sensitive patient data. Therefore, cloud-based document hosting and sharing services must comply with HIPAA regulations to be used by caregivers, hospital administrators, and patients.

eFax Features & Benefits

eFax offers an extensive suite of features and benefits, distinguishing our service from other document transmission methods like email or text. We aim to enhance, not hinder, your document workflows. eFax injects efficiency into operations reliant on document production and communication, particularly in legal and medical fields. It serves as a central document communication channel, free from the distractions or security concerns associated with email, text, or chat platforms.

Toll-Free & Local Fax Numbers

eFax provides both toll-free and local fax numbers, helping businesses enhance their national and local presence. This increases credibility and reaches new customer groups.

For instance, new customers might hesitate to send important documents to an unfamiliar area code. However, having a local fax number can reduce their uncertainty and anxiety.

Electronic Signatures

Our electronic signature feature allows users to quickly sign faxes from desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. This eliminates the need for recipients to print and sign documents manually before returning them.

The eFax electronic signature feature also removes the necessity for third-party electronic signing services, saving both time and costs.

Cloud Storage

The eFax mobile app integrates seamlessly with popular cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive. You can easily attach documents from the cloud to your fax message without downloading and re-uploading them. This streamlined process not only improves efficiency but also enhances security by minimizing the number of document copies.

Better than a Physical Fax Machine

eFax is more cost-effective and accessible than traditional physical fax machines. Our customers appreciate not having to worry about installation, phone lines, maintenance, ink cartridges, paper, or other materials.

Additionally, there’s no need for extra space for a fax machine. Simply log into your eFax account, send a fax, and receive real-time delivery notifications.

3 Ways to Fax

eFax provides three convenient methods for sending and receiving faxes. You can fax directly from your desktop through your eFax account, using the eFax Messenger app, or via email.

Is Faxing Secure?

Yes, faxes are considered secure. Fax machines operate through phone lines, which are more challenging to compromise compared to public internet and Wi-Fi connections. Online fax services employ encryption, two-factor authentication, and other safety measures to protect your personal information.

Can’t I Just Send Documents via Email?

While you can send documents via email, it’s not recommended. Email addresses, especially those used for various online services and social networks, are susceptible to compromise, which can expose your account and any messages and documents. Additionally, large documents can take longer to transmit and occupy significant space in your recipient’s inbox. Moreover, email lacks delivery confirmation, leaving you uncertain if your document reached its intended destination.

How Secure Is Online Faxing?

Online faxing with a platform like eFax is secure. Although internet connections can be hacked, online fax services like eFax encrypt documents to ensure they remain secure and private during transit. Additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication, restrict access to authorized users, preventing misuse or compromise.

Is Faxing Personal Information Safe?

Yes, faxing personal information is safe. Encryption and two-factor authentication provide strong security measures, ensuring the safety of your data. Users should also take necessary precautions to prevent unauthorized access to documents and sensitive information.

Ian A. Blocker