image-privacy-redToday’s information highway is chock full of private information cruising along its routes. Everyone today needs to think carefully about how it sends and receives private information. Flash back to tax season and you wanted to give your accountant information for your tax return. While some provide their accountant with a shoebox full of tax receipts, in today’s electronic age, it’s quite likely that you emailed some or all of it.

While email is convenient, it is not natively secure. So, what’s a person or a business to do? There are a variety of solutions that could be used to exchange private information via email. The most common are email encryption or utilizing a secure file sharing solution to embed a link to a secure file location in an email.

Email encryption does just what one would expect, it encrypts the entire message (including attachments) so that it is protected in transit. The encryption process can be triggered a number of ways. You can set a policy that looks for certain keywords or number sequences in the message which triggers the software to encrypt the message. This approach may inadvertently encrypt messages that do not require protection but because it’s set as a global policy, you the sender have little control. Another approach would be to create a policy that looks for a specific word combination in the subject line or your email signature which then triggers the encryption process. In this case, the sender must remember to use the special combination but it avoids unintentional encryption. The recipient of the message will usually receive a traditional email; however, it will contain a link to access the message and decrypt it.

As an alternative, a secure file sharing solution could be used in lieu of email. Assuming the email message itself doesn’t contain sensitive information, this solution is useful if you’d like to give your clients a secure method to transmit information to you or vice versa. The file is shared securely, and a link to the secure share is sent to the recipient instead.

Not sure what solution is the best? It may actually be a combination of the two. Give IT Radix a call today to review your needs and together we will implement a solution to ensure that your private information stays private.

First published in our August 2015 IT Radix Resource newsletter