Everyone connected to the internet is vulnerable to malicious activities such as Spyware. This is where sensitive information is open to hackers. In 2021, there were 22 billion breached records, making it clear that hacking is a growing problem, with 300 000 new malware being created daily! 
If you operate in an industry such as medicine, legal, military or finance where information security is important, these figures must concern you.
In days gone by, the fax was the primary way of sending documents over a telephone network. Communications evolved with internet access and e-mail replaced the fax to a large extent, but email has some security challenges which cannot be ignored.
Let’s examine the pros and cons of fax and email so that you can make the best choice for your business.
How does email work?
Email programs can be run off computers or accessed online via email providers such as Google and Yahoo. A standardised interface guides the user through the process of sending email and mostly it looks like this:
- A service provider sets up an email account and the preferred email program is used as the interface.
- A sender attaches a file such as MS Word or PDF to an e-mail message using an e-mail program or fax software.
- The recipient’s email address is entered into the message field of the email.
- The email and attachments are sent to the recipient’s computer using internet protocol.
Benefits of email
One benefit of using email for businesses is you can send large files, text, graphics and digital signatures. As mentioned, email is available anywhere you have access to the internet. And providers are offering unlimited storage in cloud applications, a bonus for remote workers.
Communication is seamless since most households and businesses have access to email, and it is easy to use.
Security challenges with email
For all the benefits that it has, email has one major challenge.
Protection is not a built-in feature, which opens it to attacks by bad actors. This is an entity responsible for security threats to business communication.
Most email programs are susceptible to fraud, phishing, malware, account takeover and email interception. Social engineering is the way hackers get into private documentation on email. 
The greatest number of attacks come from phishing. This is an attempt to get information from the person reading the email via a link that they click on, and it asks for confidential data such as contact numbers, bank account details and even credit card details. Once this is obtained, it is used to commit theft or fraud.
Companies are vulnerable to these attacks when employees unknowingly click these links and expose the entire network to malware.
How do online fax services work?
Traditional fax machines need a telephone line and hardware to process documentation over a switched telephone network. Transmission receipts confirm that the recipient's fax machine has received important documents.
Online fax has replaced traditional faxing to some degree. To get started, you need a fax messenger system that will provide a way to send and receive online fax.
Online fax services are internet-based, and you can download software apps onto multiple devices, such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones. The scanning function in these apps allows the user to scan documents using their camera. This means that there are no geographical limitations to using this service which is a huge benefit for remote working.
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If hacking is a concern with email, you must wonder whether the same challenges exist for fax.
The danger with fax hardware is that it uses the same protocol, making it susceptible to intervention.
However, online faxing is different.
Security issues are resolved with two-factor authentication. This is an added layer of security that requires the sender and the recipient to enter some information to send and receive the fax. This is usually a digital code or a password and is enabled in the online fax program.
Fax is also protected by end-to-end encryption, which generates a code between devices, preventing third parties from accessing information.
And because an online fax service works through an internet connection, it can offer unlimited cloud storage. This makes it easy to store sensitive documents and has high data security.
The ability to send documents through a secure and reliable system is critical in the business world.
The biggest concern with email is that it can be easily hacked and malicious software used to intercept documents. In 2021 email was responsible for 94% of all malware.
Fax may not be considered terribly exciting, but it does hold up its end of the bargain where security is concerned. Fax services are continually improving their security protocol so that sensitive data is not breached.
Both communication methods have pros and cons, and what you choose will depend on the level of security you need in your industry.