Skip to content


Fax machines pose potential security risks everywhere they are used. A fax doesn't guarantee confidential transmission, either for incoming or outgoing faxes. That means it isn't a naturally secure way to exchange sensitive information.

Observing the following rules will help keep data secure:

  • fax machines should be in a secure area where passers-by cannot see faxes
  • make sure the fax machine has paper or confidential faxes may be delayed
  • do not leave faxes on the machine - a member of staff should be responsible for collecting faxes and making sure they reach the correct person
  • if a fax is not collected the same day it should be put in a sealed envelope, marked confidential and sent to the correct person
  • only send confidential information by fax if absolutely necessary
  • consider sending the information by other means - for example a courier service - remember to only use courier organisations and agencies which the council has formal contractual agreements with
  • when faxing double check the number you are using is right
  • make sure you are sending the fax to a person who has adequate security measures in place - your fax should not be left uncollected in an open plan office
  • if the fax is sensitive, ask the recipient to let you know they are waiting to receive the document
  • phone or email after sending the fax to make sure it has been received safely
  • use a cover sheet - this will let people know who the information is for and whether it is confidential without them having to look at the content
  • if you think a confidential fax has gone to the wrong address then report it to your line manager straight away