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Email is the most efficient, cost-effective and rapid way to communicate information. It is a convenient and instant alternative to traffic jams, postal delays and fax machine interruptions and busy telephone lines. However when it comes to the exchange of confidential documents, the convenience of email is not worth the risks it poses.

Once your sensitive data is removed from your server you are in no way in control over where it goes or who is able to access it. Even if you use email encryption, which adds an extra layer of security, it might not be protected from the kind of «man-in-the-middle» attacks that could occur if a person could intercept your email message while in transit.

The most effective solution is to employ a third party that specializes in secure document exchange, which will ensure that your customers’ private documents will never fall into improper hands. A secure document exchange system lets you track the editors and users of your customer’s personal data.

If you have to send confidential information, an NDA that is supportive could help you to manage the risks. Limit the number of identifiable items you send to the minimum required to complete your task and avoid including them more than once. Use a password-protected document instead of putting it in an email or include the wording «confidentiality» in your emails. No matter which method you decide to use, make sure to clearly define your expectations in your NDAs for the recipients of confidential information.