How important is successful delivery of your message?

You’ve probably had this happen before. Someone’s about to send an important email to you with sensitive information attached. They’re on the phone, double checking your email address with you; they spell it out and you confirm it’s correct (at least you hope; did they say “d for dog” or “c for cog”?), then they hit the “Send” button.

A minute goes by. Five. Ten. No sign of the email.

Another hour passes. Two. You check back in next morning. Still no sign of the email. Your email administrators say the server logs show no trace of it. You call the sender, re-check the details (they did say “d for dog,” so they had the address right) and ask them to re-send. This time, it turns up.

But what happened to yesterday’s attempt? Where did it go? Who got it and potentially read that sensitive document?

Here’s where fax beats email for reliability.

A fax is a phone call between two machines, so your document won’t send unless the fax machine at the destination service picks up and successfully negotiates a connection with your machine. And, if the connection drops out, the pages remaining un-sent won’t go. There’s no concern whether your sensitive documents are in the ether, and if your fax doesn’t transmit, your fax machine will tell you.

Emails aren’t encrypted.

One of the reasons email isn’t fully trusted by the financial, legal and healthcare sectors (especially the healthcare sector, which must quickly transmit private patient data to those who need it) is that it’s insecure; the emails you send aren’t encoded or encrypted in any way.

If you haven’t configured some form of encryption, it’s likely that the text and attachments of your email are bouncing from server to server on the way to your destination, clearly and fully readable at each stop – and someone may have set a mail exchange server up to store any email that comes in and flag those that have potentially interesting content for a human being to check over.

Worse still, it may be that, on its way to the destination, a benign mail exchange server may have created multiple copies of your one email, attempting to increase the chances of a successful delivery by sending each copy via a different route. (This duplication is why emails have the Message-ID protocol, to confirm whether or not a given batch of emails are individual sendings or one email replicated multiple times.)

Can emails be secured? Yes, but you need to go through a complicated process of creating a secure email certificate (or getting one from a security provider) and setting it up in your email app. After that, you then need to give a copy to everyone you want to send sensitive emails to, or else they can’t decrypt the email you send.

If they want to send you encrypted emails, they’ll need to create their own secure email certificate, which you’ll then need to set up in your own email app.

GoFax’s online faxing solution is secure & reliable.

That’s why GoFax offers secure and easy-to-use alternatives to email-to-fax and fax-to-email as well as email encryption. If you upload your faxes for sending or view the pages of your received faxes via our website, desktop software or API, you’re connecting to us via HTTPS, an Internet security standard used by every major entity that does private business on the Internet, from governments to banks. Your browser will take care of everything as soon as you click on the “Log In” button on our website.

Fax only reports success when the receiving fax machine confirms receipt of a delivery.

Here’s another of the great things about fax. Whenever your fax machine sends, it only sends one page at a time, and will only send the next page once the receiving fax machine confirms successful receipt of (and error checking on) the last one. In other words, your fax machine will only give an OK or Success result if the receiving fax machine confirms that it got every single page of your document; your fax transmission log will clearly show you if the call attempt didn’t work or only some of the pages went through.

Has-been? More like seasoned veteran.

Sure, there’s a lot of pressure nowadays to leap toward the new. But what some folks think of as outdated is in fact not only still relevant but also tried-and-true; it’s just the access methods that need an update.

GoFax combines to the security of direct machine-to-machine transmission and per-page confirmation of sending with the convenience of secure access via the web and API to give fax technology its due place as a contender for secure and swift delivery of vital data in the Internet age.

If you’re interested in learning more about GoFax online faxing solutions for your business, check out the quick links below related to this article: