In the modern world, few things are private anymore. Everything about you, from your Social Security number to the color of your eyes to your location, at any given moment, is out there in the cyber world, and therefore susceptible to cyber threats. As we close in on a new decade, criminals and their methods are becoming more and more sophisticated, and everyone needs to know how to take the proper cybersecurity precautions.
Still, the best way to keep anything safe is not to put it out there, to begin with, but we all have the need to transmit sensitive information at some point. Whether we are sending in our tax information, having our medical records sent to a new doctor, sending financial documents to a mortgage company or any other necessity of modern life, we all have cause to share sensitive documents at some point.
When sending sensitive documents, security is paramount
So in a dangerous world, with savvy criminals always looking for exposed data, how does one keep that information safe when sending it? While no methods guarantee absolute safety, there are a few techniques that allow you to transmit sensitive documents at minimal risk.
Faxing Sensitive Documents
There is a reason why people have relied on fax machines to share documents for decades now. While it is not impermeable against sophisticated modern thieves, it is one of the safest options available even still.
This is because fax machines essentially take an image of a document, encode that image and transmit it over phone lines, not over the Internet. This does not allow the same sort of interception that criminals would generally use. It is also not nearly as much a point of focus for criminals as email or Internet hacking.
While most people do not have a fax machine in their homes, there are Internet faxservices out there that allow you to upload your documents onto their secure servers and have them fax it. As long as everything is kept secure on your end, this still allows for much of the same safety as sending directly via a fax machine.
Using a File Sharing Service
Another option to safely transmit sensitive documents is to use an encrypted file-sharing service. Dropbox, ShareFile, and others are designed specifically for this purpose, and they provide users the ability to safely send and receive documents with more security than email or snail mail.
There are a couple of ways one could share documents through a service like Dropbox:
A shared account could be created, on which any documents could be uploaded. Then both parties would have access to all files on the account.
You could upload a document to your account and get a link to share with anyone who you want to see the documents.
Either way, the files are secured via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security technology, allowing for more security than other digital transmission methods.
Sharing Documents in Person
Still, the most secure method of sharing sensitive documents is the old-fashioned way. If you are able to deliver the files by hand, you remove any middle-men and a lot of variables. If this is not an option, using a fax machine, Internet faxing service or encrypted file-sharing service will help provide more security than encrypted emails.