4 Career Fields That Can Benefit from Internet FaxTo some people, adding digital technology to the fax machine sounds like an unnecessary update to something outdated, like strapping a rocket jet onto a horse buggy. However, faxing is still quite useful, and Internet fax services have added some much-needed improvements to faxing while eliminating much of the clutter and frustration associated with it. That’s because Internet fax services provide users all of the same functions and features as a traditional fax machine, but enable them to do it all using a computer, smartphone or other mobile device. Certain careers in particular can benefit a lot from using an Internet fax service, thanks to how entrenched fax is in particular fields, as well as the new features provided by Internet fax. Read on to see which career fields can get a lot of use out of Internet fax.

Healthcare

Healthcare professionals are legally required to keep their patients’ information both private and secure. To make sure people in the healthcare industry follow good procedures that protect patient information, the government passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which establishes guidelines for handling that information. Luckily, many Internet fax services are HIPAA compliant or base their security on HIPAA guidelines, providing a secure way for care providers and their associates to transfer patient documents to one another. For instance, RingCentral provides encrypted connections and cloud servers to protect faxes as they’re sending and while they’re in your inbox, and Fax87 houses its servers in a restricted, fortified data center to prevent tampering.

In addition to HIPAA compliance, Internet fax allows the easy transmission of signed documents, so doctors can remotely sign off on treatment measures and prescription renewals. Also, Internet fax gives healthcare professionals another way to communicate with older patients, who may be more comfortable with fax instead of email.

Law

While fax may be seen as outdated, its age gives it legal protections that email just doesn’t have, making Internet fax an incredibly useful tool for lawyers. Faxed legal documents are more universally accepted as legally binding than emailed documents, as some court rules, like West Virginia’s, allow faxed copies of signed documents, but have not yet updated their rules to include emailed copies, as well. Similarly, fax is the only way you can electronically serve papers in some states, like California. Also, many government agencies, including the FBI and the CIA, will only accept requests for certain information through snail mail or fax. Faxes work well for the government for two reasons. First, they create a paper trail that bureaucrats can easily trace, and second, faxes sent to these agencies travel through the telephone lines, a public utility subject to extensive government regulation.

As a nice bonus, faxes are also convenient for keeping records. When a fax goes through, the sender receives a delivery confirmation, and faxes arrive with a date and time stamp included to make archiving easier. Internet fax can give law offices the benefits of going paperless without the drawbacks of losing recordkeeping capability.

Banking

Banking is a service almost everyone needs. With so many potential customers, banks need to appeal to as many people as possible, and that includes people who still like to do business by fax. For older customers or customers who live in remote areas with limited Internet access, fax may be the easiest way for them to send and receive documents, and it’s in the banks’ best interest to accommodate that. Faxing is also a secure way to communicate, as faxes traveling over phone lines are difficult to intercept thanks to the centralized nature of the telephone system, and faxes sent using Internet fax services are often encrypted. Internet fax companies are also capable of providing additional security features, such as MetroFax, which offers virtual private networks to customers who need them.

Sales

While the security and legal protection that comes with using Internet fax is nice for salespeople when they’re sending contracts, another great benefit of using fax for sales is access, especially when dealing with international clients. Many businesses in developing countries rely on fax over email because their country’s telephone system is more reliable than any Internet access they can reasonably get. Some countries that are typically thought of as technologically advanced also use fax quite often. Japan in particular still loves fax machines due to the country’s aging population and complex writing system, and in European countries like Germany, France and the U.K., the fax remains an office fixture. Seventy percent of German businesses still use fax regularly, and in France and the U.K. the percentage of office workers who called the fax machine “essential” to their work is at 42 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Using Internet fax could make doing business with clients in these countries faster, or help you stand out from the competition.

Speaking of standing out, Internet fax is a great way to attract attention when sending out sales promotions to regular customers. A fax is harder to throw away without looking at it than an email is, and many Internet fax companies let customers send faxes to tens of recipients simultaneously. Plus, your customers may appreciate the feeling of being on a small, exclusive fax mailing list.

Though fax is the butt of many jokes about being an obsolete technology, it’s actually difficult to replace its reliability and security. If you’re curious about Internet fax, be sure to check out our Internet fax reviews to see which service is a good fit for your needs.