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Fax Security Weaknesses Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know About

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Over 10% of the American population has their identity stolen each year. If you are a business owner, your main goal should be keeping the sensitive information customers entrust you with safe. Without the right security measures in place, it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes. While most business owners are adamant about network security, many of them fail to realize other security threats lurking in their offices.

If your business uses a traditional fax machine, you need to be careful with the information transmitted via this machine. Criminals have tons of methods they can use to access and exploit information sent via fax. Popular fax services that are cloud-based also note security as a major differentiator. For example, this fax service notes the following right on their homepage: “When you activate Enhanced Security, you will no longer directly receive faxes in your email inbox. For maximum security, inbound faxes are encrypted and hosted on a secure site so you can download highly confidential faxes worry-free.” Below are some fax security weaknesses every business owner needs to know about.

Desktop Fax Machines Store Copies of the Information They Transmit

Using a fax machine to send important documents to clients or employees is something most business owners are familiar with. Some business owners feel that using an actual fax machine is safer than an online fax service. In reality, physical fax machines are not very secure. Most desktop fax machines store copies of the images they transfer.

As time goes by, the drive that your fax machine has will become a treasure trove of data that can be used for nefarious purposes. If a criminal with the knowledge of how to access this information gets their hands on your fax machine, they can do a lot of damage. Instead of leaving sensitive information on a physical fax machine, you need to think about using an electronic fax service.

Fax Machines Typically Have Outdated Encryption Protocols

Did you realize that desktop fax machines often don’t have encryption protocols in place? In essence, a fax machine uses voice tones to transmit data. These tones are typically what you will find in an actual phone call. Experienced criminals can actually listen in on these transmissions and intercept the information being sent.

Ignoring the need for an update to the way you fax will put you and your customers in danger. Most online fax services have top-notch encryption. This means the data that you transmit via their servers will be safe and secure. Before choosing an online fax service, be sure to assess the encryption and other security measures they have in place. With some time and research, finding the right online fax service is achievable.

Watch Out For Shoulder Surfing

Business owners spend so much time preparing for and mitigating the risk of external threats that they forget about the risk of employee theft. Unfortunately, employee data theft is more common than you realize. Instead of being unprepared for this internal threat, you need to find ways to reduce access to important information.

If you have a physical fax machine in your office space, you need to watch out for a practice known as shoulder surfing. This involves employees looking over the should of the person sending a fax to get information from these documents. This can also happen when the fax being sent arrives at the other fax machine in your client’s workspace. Mitigating the risk of shoulder surfing is only possible when taking a technologically advance approach to faxing. While moving to an online fax service will be difficult at first, it is a great decision that will only benefit your business.

Update Your Approach to Faxing

Now that you know how risky having a physical fax machine can be, it is time to change the way you look at transmitting the information. Finding an online fax service with a great reputation is essential when trying to make these technological changes. 

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