Keeping information safe

With all the great technical advances we enjoy today, there are many threats to consider. Making sure the information you share, and that is shared with you, is safe, is an important aspect of our daily lives

Constant reminders to protect our personal data from prying eyes

From passwords to financial details, it is imperative that we safeguard our information. We have been conditioned to shred them immediately.

It is interesting to note that we often behave differently when it comes to handling physical copies of sensitive documents, without giving much thought to how we might be compromising our data security in other ways.

One such way is through sending copies of sensitive documents over email.

Email has become a popular way to share documents.

It is quick, convenient, and cost-effective. But it also comes with significant security risks. For one, email is not a secure platform for transmitting sensitive data. It is relatively easy for hackers to intercept and read emails, especially if they are unencrypted. Furthermore, email attachments can also contain malware or viruses that can compromise your computer or network.

One type of document that we are often asked to send over email is bank statements.

These documents contain highly sensitive information such as bank account numbers, transaction details, and personal identification information. If a hacker intercepts such information, they can use it to steal money from your account or engage in identity theft.

By sending bank statements over email, we are essentially handing over the keys to our financial data to cybercriminals.

Types of sensitive information typically shared

Bank statements are not the only type of document that we send over email.

Here are a few other examples:

  • Passport scans: When we travel, we are often asked to send scanned copies of our passports to airlines or hotels for verification. Passport scans contain personal identification information that can be used for identity theft.
  • Tax documents: Tax returns and other tax-related documents often contain sensitive information such as social security numbers, financial data, and employment details. If these documents fall into the wrong hands, it can lead to significant financial loss and identity theft.
  • Medical records: Medical records contain highly personal and sensitive information such as medical conditions, prescriptions, and treatments. If these records are leaked or hacked, it can lead to significant privacy violations and harm to the individual’s reputation.
  • Legal documents: Legal documents such as contracts, agreements, and court filings often contain confidential information that should not be shared without proper security measures in place.

Stop sending, or asking for, sensitive information over email.

Given the security risks involved, it is important to take steps to protect our data when sharing sensitive documents over email.

One solution is to use encryption software to secure the email and its attachments.

Another solution is to use a secure file transfer service like Gatheroo, that encrypts files and provides secure access to authorised users.

While we may be conditioned to shred physical copies of sensitive documents, it is important to remember that digital copies can be just as vulnerable to security breaches.

We should take necessary precautions to protect data when sharing sensitive information over email or other digital platforms.

By being mindful of the risks and taking steps to mitigate them, we can keep our personal information secure and protected from prying eyes.

Laetitia has worked in the Financial Industry for over 20 years. Her drive to understand the risks inherent in a business, together with finding practical ways to mitigate the risks deemed too great, lead to the creation of Gatheroo.

By applying her knowledge gained from major banks in Australian and the UK, SMEs across the globe have benefited by discussing and applying low hanging solutions to potentially large issues.

"I love working with professional service providers to help them grow and prosper by identifying and minimising risks, boosting productivity, and fostering an environment where both individuals and teams thrive"