In the case of online faxing and the sending of a fax by e-mail, care must be taken to ensure that the data being transferred is safe and secure. To make sure that this happens, the connection between the email client (the system you use to view and send your emails – Gmail, Outlook etc.) and the email server (the system which helps an email get from one email client to another) must be encrypted via a secure connection.
Depending on the supplier and the technology used, slightly different methods can be utilised to achieve secure encryption. In cases where an email with a fax attached is sent, the delivery is encrypted and therefore cannot be viewed by outsiders. This added layer of security is one of the great advantages that fax has over email.
A further security element which internet fax provides is a secured SSL web interface. eFax provide such web services, from which encrypted fax messages can be retrieved via SSL, making the whole process that little bit safer.
Before the invention of internet fax, faxing was a communication method that worked without encryption. Fax documents were transmitted openly and unencrypted between fax machines. Like a normal telephone call, the fax transmission was open to interception. The delivery of a fax message was based solely on the telephone number of the target device. In the case of an incorrectly entered number being entered, a fax could therefore be delivered to the wrong fax machine by mistake, meaning unauthorised people would be able to see it.
An additional risk arises in the case of unencrypted faxes being redirected or forwarded. In this way, a fax document could be redirected to a destination device other than the originally intended one. To this end, traditional methods of faxing were somewhat risky in terms of sending confidential information. Fortunately, the modern internet fax is a much more secure process, and considered one of the safest methods of communication.