My doctor, who is part of a large modern medical complex, will not let me email him anything–even simple questions. But he is happy for me to fax things to him. I often wondered about that: why?
I just read an interesting article that explains why the use of fax communications is growing—in fact it never stopped growing. Regardless of better technologies being out there.
According to the article, the main reason faxes continue in widespread use is security and the interoperability of that security. A fax, transmitted from fax machine to another, over a phone to phone connection, is supposedly unhackable, which is important for industries that need signed or secured documents.
So the medical industry is still mostly standardized on fax transmissions, again mostly for security reasons. And, according to that article, the use of other secure transmission methods by doctors has been hampered by medical records companies deliberately making their systems incompatible with each other.
Now, the flip side to this is if you use an eFax service with email delivery instead of a phone-to-phone connection on two fax machines, the transmission is most likely quite insecure, according to this article. The point of that article is that the emails that send the attached PDFs are exposed to hacking in the transmission over the internet. The solution is to log on to the eFax website with a secure connection, and do your sending (and receiving) that way, but that’s often not very convenient is it?
Which brings up the whole question of email security in general—emails are a very convenient way of communicating. The email inbox is easy to use. But what does it take for regular emails to be sent securely, particularly in the Outlook world? I have at least one client who says that their corporate policy is that all emails sent outside of their company must be sent encrypted in Outlook. How you do that will be the topic of a future post, soon, I hope.
But in the meantime, reply in the comments section: Does your company still use faxes? Does your company have a means of securing email communications? Please share what you can, thanks!