Faxing has changed the way people communicate since the first fax machine was created in 1843.
But even though the technology has evolved, faxes are still vulnerable to security risks.
That’s why encryption is becoming more and more popular for faxing. Here’s a look at encryption and how it can protect your fax communications.
- Encryption conceals the data by scrambling it so that only authorized individuals can read it.
- Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the most common type of encryption method.
- To decrypt the enscribed fax, the receiver needs a key so that it can be read.
- Encryption provides protection against hackers, prevents eavesdropping, and more.
What Is Encryption?
Encryption is a process that conceals data by scrambling it so that it can only be decrypted and read by authorized individuals.
There are various encryption methods, but the most common type used for faxing is Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS uses public key infrastructure (PKI) to encrypt data.
PKI involves creating a digital certificate that contains a public and private key. The public key is used to encrypt data, while the private key decrypts it. 1
How Does Encryption Work?
Faxes are sent over the internet using the TLS protocol. When you send a fax, the TLS encryption process will scramble the data before it’s transmitted.
The data will remain encrypted until it reaches the recipient. The recipient will then use their private key to decrypt the data so it can be read.
Why Use Encryption?
There are several reasons why you might want to encrypt your faxes, including:
Securely Send Sensitive Information
Securely sending sensitive information is one reason you might want to encrypt your faxes.
Sensitive information can include anything from credit card numbers to Social Security Numbers.
When you encrypt your faxes, you are ensuring that the information is protected as it travels through the phone lines. This helps ensure the safety and security of your data.
Protect Against Hackers
If you send faxes containing sensitive information, you’ll want to encrypt them to protect against hackers.
Encrypting your faxes can make it much more difficult for hackers to access your data. This can help keep your confidential information safe and secure.
While many may think hackers only target devices like computers and smartphones, fax machines and services are also vulnerable to attack.
Comply With Laws and Regulations
Depending on your business type, you may be required to encrypt your faxes to comply with laws and regulations.
For example, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requires healthcare organizations to encrypt certain types of patient information.
If you’re not sure if you need to encrypt your faxes, it’s always best to check with your legal team or a compliance officer.
When you send a fax, the signal travels through the phone lines to the recipient’s fax machine. However, the signal can also be picked up by anyone monitoring the phone lines.
Encrypting your faxes can help prevent eavesdropping and keep your confidential information safe.
Peace of Mind
When you encrypt your faxes, you can rest easy knowing that your confidential information is safe and secure.
Encryption helps to protect your data from hackers and eavesdroppers, making it much more difficult for them to access your information.
This can give you peace of mind knowing that your data is safe and secure. 2
Is Sending Fax More Secure Than Sending Email?
Yes, sending a fax is more secure than sending an email for a number of reasons.
First of all, email works on an internet or cellular connection and hence is more prone to theft and other internet exposure.
On the other hand, a fax machine uses a landline network to transmit information, and as such, it is difficult to hack or attack the line.
Also, getting into a fax machine does not give a lot of ground for the cybercriminal to breach the data.
But by getting access to the email account, the cybercriminal can access other accounts associated with the email id. 3
Can a Fax Machine Be Hacked?
Yes, a fax machine can be hacked if someone sends malicious text disguised as an image or plain text, and when the machine prints it, the cybercriminal gets access to the device or network that the fax machine is connected to.
However, this is very difficult, especially if your fax machine is connected to a PSTN network. Nonetheless, a fax machine can be hacked.
This flaw of the fax machine is known as “Faxsploit,” and adding advanced features and other steps have been taken to address the issue. 4
Encryption can be a helpful tool for protecting your confidential information.
When you encrypt your faxes, you can be sure that only the intended recipient will be able to read them.
Although encryption is not required, it is a good idea to use it if you are sending sensitive information.
Is there a way to send faxes securely?
If you are sending a fax using a SIP connection, then protecting your data is hard.
However, if you want to protect your data via fax, then you should send faxes using an encrypted network.
What are the different types of encryption that can secure my fax?
Different types of encryption that can secure your fax are:
- 256-Bit Encryption
- Two-Factor Authentication
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
- HIPAA-Compliant Fax Software or App
What can never be sent using a fax machine?
A fax machine cannot transmit documents or pages that are damaged, curled, dog-earned, torn, etc.
To send such documents, make a photocopy first and then put it in the fax machine.
Amit Gupta is the founder of National Planning Cycles, a company that helps startups, individuals, and small businesses with their financial planning. He has a vast amount of experience in the finance sector, having managed Google Play accounts for some of the world’s most successful unicorns. Amit is an expert in his field, and he uses his knowledge to help others achieve their individual goals.
The National Planning Cycles is committed to producing high-quality content that follows industry standards. We do this by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data alongside original reporting from reputable publishers that were appropriate for the accuracy of information while still being unbiased. We have an editorial policy that includes verifiable facts with due credit given where applicable.