Are you wondering how you can send sensitive and private documents to clients in a secure format?
Don’t use email.
You may not realise this, but emails are stored (and sometimes transmitted) in an unencrypted plain text format. This is the case even when your email client (like Outlook) is connected to the mail server by an encrypted connection. That connection only secures a small part in the email chain. Some attachments can be password protected – at best this is a faff for customers, at worst these attachment passwords are often easily cracked.
Use a document portal.
We recommended that IFA’s and accountants that need to send documents in a secure way communicate via a document portal instead. This is a situation where you upload documents to a portal, send a notification to customers, and they download from the portal. Assuming the disk in your computer is encrypted (possibly, call us to check), and your connection to the portal is encrypted (it is with HTTPS) then the documents remain secure and private between you and the intended recipient. If the intended recipient downloads the files from the portal, it becomes their responsibility to make sure the documents remain secure on their systems.
Consider Document Messenger.
I had a demo of Document Messenger today and I am extremely impressed with its speed, ease of use (from the IFA and client perspective) and had a 20 minute chat with the developer, himself a qualified IFA. There is a 7 day trial available and the pricing is reasonable. One of the features I most liked is the ability to upload your company logo – so you customers have a stronger sense of your brand.
Please note the following extra tips we have for you:
Setup of the Document Messenger portal is easy but we are happy to help with setup if you’d like us to.
If you sign up to this or a different portal, let us know so we can add a line in your IT\norwich New Starters Policy.
When setting up a service like this we recommend a strong and complex password which you store in a password management tool such as LastPass (online) or KeePass (offline).
Make sure you have procedures in place to prevent access to the portal if one of your staff members leave. We can add this to your IT\norwich Leavers Policy upon request.
Before you add customers to the portal, make sure you send them an email explaining that you are doing so – in this way they will not be surprised when they get an invitation to the portal.
Using a portal like this adds value to your business. Make sure you tell customers about it on your web site.
If you need any further advice or help on general IT support matters, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01603 554000.