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Secure data being sent via website through email...

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm doing a website that allows for someone to submit forms online - but one of the questions asks for a Social Security Number. I secured the website with an SSL and the form results are going to a SQL database AND a copy is being send to the website owner via email so they can view and print everything out.

Seems simple enough, right? But their office networking guy is having a fit because he says that sending a copy of the form results via email is dangerous regardless of whether or not everything is secure because emails themselves are not secure. I see his point, but is it enough of a problem for anyone to worry about? What other option is there? Doesn't everyone use the email method?
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Question by:orlandotommy
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Dave Baldwin earned 2000 total points
ID: 36569119
In situations requiring HIPAA compliance (for example) all communications including email must be sent thru encrypted channels.  Plain text email is not allowed and in fact is against the law in a HIPAA environment.  So, yes, some people take it quite seriously.
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by:orlandotommy
ID: 36569344
How would email be sent through an encrypted channel?
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 36569678
There are ports for encrypted email.  If you have a Yahoo or AT&T account, they try to get you to use them.  Google too and here's the Google info: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=13287  I believe PHP and ASP.NET both have ways to use SSL email.
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