Email is now the de facto way to communicate information quickly effectively and efficiently. It’s a great alternative to delays in traffic and postal delays. It can also be used to avoid busy telephone lines, fax machines, and interruptions to fax machines. But when it comes down to sharing confidential documents, the convenience of email conceals many inherent dangers. Once your confidential information leaves your server, you are not in control of what happens to it or if anyone has access to it. Even if you encrypt your emails, which provides an additional layer of security, this may not be enough to shield you against the type of man-in the-middle attacks.

Documents for customers typically contain confidential information that can be used by cybercriminals for identity theft, or other illicit activities. Cyberattacks on email servers could also result in the theft or loss of documents.

The positive side is that with a few best practices and a helpful NDA it is possible to exchange confidential documents via email. Email security can be improved by limiting the number of identifiable elements in a message. Using password-protected files and including a confidentiality statement to your signature automatically are also easy steps.

Email providers such as Gmail or Outlook offer encryption using S/MIME to provide a higher level of security. This allows users to sign digitally attachments and emails. This ensures the authenticity of the document, and shields it from “man-in-the middle” attacks. This method requires an authentic certificate be installed on the computer of the recipient, which can add a second layer of security.

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