The Dangers of Email For Exchanging Confidential Documents

Email is now the most popular method to communicate information quickly efficiently and economically. It’s an instant solution to traffic jams, postal delays interruptions to fax machines, and busy phone lines. But when it comes down to exchanging confidential documents convenience of email conceals a number of inherent dangers. When your personal information leaves your server, there’s no way to control what happens to it or who has access to it. Even if encryption is enabled on your emails, which adds an additional layer of security, this may not be enough protection to protect you from man-in-the-middle attack.

Cybercriminals can steal confidential information contained in customer documents to commit identity theft or other illegal activities. Cyberattacks on email servers may also lead to the loss or theft of files.

It is possible to share confidential documents securely through email if you follow some best practices and have an NDA in place. Email security can be enhanced by limiting the number of identifiable items in a message. Utilizing password-protected files and adding a confidentiality declaration to your signature automatically are also simple steps.

For greater security, email providers like Gmail and Outlook are now offering S/MIME encryption, which allows users to sign digitally their emails and attachments, ensuring the integrity of the document and securing it from “man in the middle” attacks. This option also requires a certificate that is verified to be installed on the receiver’s computer, which can add an additional layer of security.