Some say the fax machine has become obsolete with the invention of electronic communication. After all, most documents can be sent in a plain email, so what need is there for fax machines? However, while fax machines may be going out of style, using Gmail faxes is still a more secure method of sending sensitive documents than other electronic communication methods.
Are Gmail Fax Plugins Safe to Use?
Gmail fax plugins are applications from third-party vendors that partner with your Gmail account to provide you with a digital fax number that you can use to send sensitive documents. These plugins are considered safe because the data is more encrypted than the data that is transmitted through a regular email. Additionally, nobody but the recipient will be able to view the document that is sent through digital fax.
How Is Digital Faxing Different From Email?
On the surface, digital faxing and email seem to be the same. After all, a digital fax is sent using your email account, so how is that any different from just sending a regular email? But there are a few major differences between digital fax and email. For example, digital fax can usually only transmit documents and not text images.
Furthermore, Gmail faxes have additional security benefits. Specifically, emails are at higher risk of transmitting spyware, malware, or other types of malicious software. Digital faxing, on the other hand, is protected with additional security to protect the data and prevent the data from being corrupted by malware.
Why Else Is Digital Faxing Better?
Another reason why sending a digital fax may be preferable is because documents that are sent over fax are considered official and legally binding. This may be important if you are transmitting documents that have a physical or digital signature.
Usually, faxes of official documents are required by law offices, hospitals, and schools. If you don’t have access to a fax machine, digital fax can serve the same purpose as sending official documents without the hassle of printing or the uncertainty that your documents have been received.
How Do Gmail Faxes Work?
Sending a fax through a Gmail account is a simple process once you partner with a third-party vendor. When you search for fax services near me, you will have a variety of Gmail fax plugin providers to choose from. Although Google does not offer a free fax service for Gmail accounts, many other vendors partner with Gmail to provide digital fax numbers so that any user can turn an ordinary Gmail account into a digital fax machine.
Get a Digital Fax Number
When you sign up with a digital fax service, you will be assigned a digital fax number that will be associated with your Gmail account. When you fax through the service, you will simply use your digital fax number as a personal route to send your encrypted data. The additional fax number will be unique to you and may even be password protected by your vendor so that your data remains secure.
Send and Receive Your Email Fax
Next, you will send and receive your digital fax from your Gmail account. When you partner with a third-party vendor, your digital fax documents will appear as an email in your inbox, which means it’s easy to view faxed documents and regular emails from the same application. To send a fax, all you need to do is attach an acceptable document to a digital fax form and send the fax just like you would an email.
Receiving a fax via email can be done in two ways. Either you can receive the fax as an ordinary email, or you can direct your digital fax to your printer so that you can have a physical document of any faxes you receive.
What Documents Can You Send?
When you use Gmail faxes, you can generally send any type of Google-compatible document. This can include documents from other Google applications, such as Google Sheets. Most people will send documents from Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or other document applications.
That said, when you send a digital fax, any document you upload as an attachment will automatically be converted into a PDF file. This is because PDF files are the cleanest and most secure way of transmitting electronic documents. PDF files also make it easier for printers or receptive fax machines to create a physical copy of the faxed document.
Whether you plan to send and receive all of your faxes digitally or you want to automatically print off the faxes you receive, having a digital fax number connected to your Gmail account is efficient. This is an ideal method for those who do not own a fax machine but need to conduct sensitive business promptly.