You may be considering finding an online fax service for many reasons. Online faxing saves money, and it's better for the environment. One important concern is security.
Online faxing is a secure means of communication for you and your business. Find out here how you can benefit from an online faxing service.
How Does Online Faxing Work?
Online faxing is also called internet fax or cloud-based fax. It's a hosted service, so you don't need to buy fax servers or special software. You send and receive faxes over Internet Protocol (IP).
To send a fax, you log in to your secure portal with your online fax service. Follow the prompts and enter the recipient's fax number. Then attach your document.
Your provider makes the attachment readable by a fax machine. Then your provider sends the message using the phone line. The addressee's fax machine receives the fax and prints it.
If your recipient uses an online fax service, they get an email notifying them that they received a fax.
To receive a fax, a sender dials the fax number you received from your online faxing services provider. When the fax machine sends the data, your services provider translates it into an image file.
The service sends you an email to notify you that you received a fax. You can log in to your portal to view and download your fax.
You can securely send and receive faxes when you're in the office, at home, or on the go.
Security of Online Faxing
Before making the switch to online faxing, most people want to know about security. Will your data and the documents you're transmitting be secure?
Online faxing is secure. In fact, it's more secure in some ways than traditional faxing. Most office fax machines are located in common areas and are available for many people to use. When someone sends you a fax, anyone else in the office can see and read it.
An online fax goes directly to you.
Before you sign up for an online faxing service, verify that they have certain security features in place:
SSL means that your documents are transmitted with secure encryption. SSL protects your data when you send it from your device to
your provider's servers. If the web address in your URL bar starts with HTTPS, the site is using SSL encryption.
Secure Web Connection
The web interface for your online faxing service should have a secure connection. It should have a secure log-in prompt, and you'll access the platform with a password. Your credentials and information should be private when you send them to your provider.
Most online faxing services send you a confirmation email when you send a fax. If you receive a confirmation email for a fax you didn't send, you know your account was compromised. You can then take steps to reestablish control over your account.
Routing rules control the process of sending and receiving a fax. Your faxing service manages each step electronically. You should be able to trace your fax from when you send it until the recipient receives it.
The system automatically records, stores, and organizes each step in the process. You should be able to access this information when you need it.
For additional security, find out if your provider offers cloud storage. You can store your faxes securely in the cloud and access them at any time. You don't have to worry about losing them, and you have a backup if you need it.
HIPAA Fax Compliance
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulates the privacy and security of certain health information. Medical professionals must ensure that their correspondence complies with HIPAA requirements.
HIPAA requires you to secure patient health information at rest, in transit, and in storage. Many online faxing providers are HIPAA compliant. They protect your transmissions at all times. If you need to follow HIPAA regulations, be sure that any provider you're considering is HIPAA compliant.
Most online faxing services offer monthly or annual plans. You choose a plan based on how many pages you want to send and receive.
Since fax number is something you keep longer term for your business, annual plans are usually cheaper.
Choosing an Online Faxing Service
When you're ready to switch to online faxing, you want to choose the best provider. First, look for a service with a user-friendly platform. The process for sending and receiving faxes online should be easy and efficient.
Second, if you have an existing fax number, look for an online faxing service that will port your number so that you can keep it. If you want to set up a new fax number, choose a provider that offers a wide selection of toll-free and local numbers for your area.
You may also want the option of choosing a vanity number. A vanity number spells something significant for your business, like 1-888-FAX-PROS. Vanity numbers are easy to remember, and they can boost your credibility.
In addition, you want a provider who offers the highest possible security. Not all online faxing services are HIPAA compliant. If you need to comply with HIPAA or other industry-specific security regulations, verify that the provider you're considering offers the right level of security compliance.
Finally, you should check pricing plans. There are monthly and annual plans.
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