Before file sharing through drive access, online sharing platforms, and file transfer through chat messaging applications became commonplace, emails were the preferred way of sending electronic files. Even today, some businesses and organizations still prefer sending and receiving proprietary documents and files through email. However, not all employees might be familiar with or comfortable using email.
Before all of this happened, businesses sent their documents through a facsimile or fax.
Fax machines were rendered obsolete by email, but somehow, they managed to find a way to make a comeback with online or virtual fax messaging. This is a software application that mimics the functionalities which were previously done by physical fax.
1. They Can’t Be Easily Hacked
One of the least known benefits of using online or virtual fax software applications is that unauthorized users cannot easily intercept them compared to email. Virtual fax messages aren’t as vulnerable to most methods of cyber-attacks because virtual fax software applications have a more advanced and sophisticated level of encryption. Only the sender and the receiver can view the contents of virtual fax messages.
The growing incidents and intensity of cyber-attacks are among the most pressing cybersecurity challenges corporations and enterprises encounter. Practically all existing forms of internet communications such as email, short messaging, chat messaging, and video communications are vulnerable to hacking and other forms of cyber-attacks. Email, for one, is commonly used by hackers to gain access to usernames and passwords.
Here are some of the known hacking techniques:
- Email Account Compromise
- Business Email Compromise
- Whaling Attacks
- Pay-Per-Click Ad Scams
- Clickable Links
The distinct advantage of virtual fax services is that they’re not vulnerable to all these forms of cyber-attacks, but email and chat messages are susceptible to these attacks.
2. You Can Go Paperless Safely
Another distinct benefit of virtual fax services is that you can go paperless like email but remain secure from hacking. Emails have become popular because they’re the paperless version of writing letters and office memoranda. But because they’re available online, they’re also susceptible to unauthorized access and stolen by hackers who can be anybody from anywhere in the world.
By contrast, paper copies can’t be easily accessed by anyone with a computer and a modem. Only people who can get hold of the physical paper copy would be able to see its contents and possibly copy them. This is where virtual fax services present clear benefits.
Virtual fax messages have the same ease of transmission and access as emails, but they’re as secure as paper copies. The recipient receives the document as they would through normal fax. In other words, virtual fax services offer you the best of both worlds.
3. Virtual Fax Transmissions Can Be Monitored
Another lesser-known benefit of virtual fax services is that you can monitor the transmission of your virtual fax message. There was a time when people who sent out fax messages had to call up the recipient to verify if their transmission was received. But subsequent fax machines were installed with transmission monitoring features before emails completely put fax machines out of business.
By contrast, there’s practically no way of finding out whether the emails you sent out were already received by the person to whom you sent them. Some email services tell you when it’s already sending out your email, and it would even tell you when the message has been sent out.
You may never know if it was received unless the recipient sends you a reply email confirming receipt.
With a virtual fax message, you’ll be able to monitor communication transmission. The virtual fax software will tell you when the document is being sent out. It will also tell you when the delivery has been completed. You can be sure that your document has been received if the fax says it has been delivered. You don’t have this assurance with email. In fact, you’ll sometimes receive notifications hours or days later that your email was not delivered because the recipient email’s inbox is full or the email doesn’t exist.
4. You Can Affix Electronic Signatures
Some people think that you have to print virtual fax messages to affix your signatures to the documents to be faxed out. Others believe that you can only sign documents that you’re going to send out but not documents you receive unless you sign them. It is also a common misconception that you need to have a copy of your signature saved on your computer.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that you can do all of those things when you use virtual fax services. This is another one of those lesser-known benefits of using virtual fax services. You can affix your electronic signatures when you’re going to send out a document. You don’t need to have a saved copy of your signature. Most virtual fax software applications allow you to sign on the screen or the touchpad.
If you’re expecting to receive a virtual fax document and need to sign it and send it back right away, you don’t have to print the documents when they come in. You can just save the documents and affix the electronic signatures when you receive them. Then, you can fax back the documents immediately. This is especially useful for import-export transactions, requiring people far from each other to sign the same documents. Some examples of these documents are contracts, articles of incorporation, and joint venture agreements (JVA).
5. You Can Go Over Transmittal History
Another lesser-known benefit of using a virtual fax service is that it allows you to go over your transmittal history. You can browse through the messages, documents, and files you sent through the virtual fax machine. This wasn’t possible with the physical fax machines because they didn’t store the contents of what you sent. But they did store the recipient’s fax number and usually also the number of pages of the document transmitted.
The benefit of getting a virtual fax service is that you can browse over your fax messaging history. Some platforms allow you to view in batches of 300, while some would allow you to view the previous 1,000 fax messages right away. There are also fax messaging applications that will enable you to type in a few keywords of the previous fax message that you’re searching for.
Fax machines were scuttled by businesses when it became possible to attach heavy documents and files to their email messages. The speed and efficiency of email presented a clear advantage over the cumbersome process of faxing documents by scanning each page through the fax machine to transmit it to the receiver.
But fax machines are making a comeback through virtual faxing. The higher levels of safety, security, and conveniences bring merit consideration.
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