Should you email someone your confidential spreadsheet?

I read an article a while ago titled Trade secrets exposed by ‘stealthy’ email typo attack in the Sydney Morning Herald. It talks about a really subversive way hackers have been able to access many thousands of confidential emails. This got me thinking again of the risks involved in emailing confidential information like business plans, spreadsheets, credit card details and the like. I somehow intuitively feel like email provides me with a direct unimpeachable connection between me a someone else, but the truth is that email is a really vulnerable method of communication. It quotes a security expert Paul Sophos as saying “email as a communications medium was fundamentally insecure, so you should assume that all email might be read or at least scanned by someone else”.

The social media phenomenon shows us that people are prepared to share their most intimate secrets and photos with the whole world. Does the same apply to sensitivity financial information? Does anyone really care whether email is a secure way to send around highly sensitive and confidential spreadsheets, or for that matter, any sensitive financial information?

Please share we us the things you do to ensure that the information in your spreadsheets is kept secret when you want to communicate or send these spreadsheets to others.


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  1. Steve Ayyebo

    9th March 2012 at about 3am

    We keep all our confidential data out of emails…have done for a few years now. There are secure options for storing spreadsheets securely in the cloud. My company opted for SecureSheet, but there are probably others by now. We chose a paid service over a free one because security is a top priority and we can’t take chances. Nobody in our company is allowed to email spreadsheets – ever! ~ Steve

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