With all of the technobabble associated with just about any new piece of technology, it can be a little hard to understand exactly what’s going on if you don’t have a computer science degree. One of the biggest issues that are talked about, at least when it comes to mail, is if it’s safer to use digital mail or physical mail. It can be a confusing conversation for the uninitiated, and today we’re going to do our best to explain both sides of the argument in plain English so that, hopefully, even those most tech-illiterate people can understand.
The Pros and Cons of Physical Mail.
We’ve been using physical mail in some way, shape, or form for a very long time. It’s very secure because only the person that gets their hands on the mail piece has access to it. That means that, so long as the post office doesn’t make a mistake, you have a great deal of control over who exactly can see any given mail piece.
The post office does usually do a fantastic job making sure that all of the mail gets to where it’s supposed to, which is miraculous when you consider that the postal service handles hundreds of thousands if not millions of pieces of mail on a day to day basis.
That being said, with that many moving pieces they’re bound to make mistakes. Humans are fallible, and everyone makes mistakes. In most cases, the post office is able to catch their mistakes and fix them before it’s too big of an issue, but that poses a security issue in itself.
Let’s be generous and assume that the post office delivers mail correctly 99.9% of the time. That might sound like an awfully safe number, but if you think about it that means that out of every thousand pieces of mail they make a mistake. If your company gets a lot of mail there’s a 0.1% chance that any given piece of mail will get destroyed, lost, or misdelivered in the process.
This is why paper mail is a tricky thing security-wise. The same thing that makes paper mail so secure is the same thing that makes it insecure. Whoever has the mail in their hands has unfettered access to it, and there’s a good chance that the post office won’t be able to tell you what happened to your mail along the way. That means important documents could fall into a nefarious stranger’s hands and you’d be none the wiser.
The Pros and Cons of Digital Mail.
Digital mail is a wonderful thing. It allows for all of your employees to receive their mail in a digital hub making it much quicker for them to sort through. Many digital mail services even use end-to-end encryption meaning that it will be very difficult if not impossible to intercept.
There are very few security risks posed to digital mail, but there’s an old adage among cybersecurity experts, “the biggest threat to your security is your users.” and this is true when it comes to any software that your company uses. Employees are susceptible to phishing attacks, social engineering, and even bad password habits. That being said, these insecurities have a lot less to do with digital mail itself and more with the human element involved with running any business.
Which is More Secure, Physical or Digital Mail?
Answering this question, as you may have gathered, isn’t an easy task. We believe that generally using digital mail is more secure so long as your IT department does a good job educating your employees on how to have good habits online as well as making sure that everyone in your company is aware of the tactics that hackers use in an attempt to garner information and exploit the least secure part of your company.