Secure and Unsecure Communications

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Secure and Unsecure Communications

Secure and Unsecure Communications

A final, and very important, consideration that affects the method of communication is whether the content is secure or unsecure. Secure communication is used when the information is confidential or sensitive. Any content that is, or should be, kept private needs to be handled in a secure manner. This means:

  1. It is rarely broadcast.
  2. The choice of medium must be secure.
  3. The handling of the information prior to and after delivery must be secure.

Often the security of a message is determined by:

  1. Regulatory and legislative constraints, such as:
    1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    2. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)
    3. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  2. Company policies, including:
    1. Hiring information.
    2. Trade secrets.
    3. Competitive strategies.
  3. Personal information, such as:
    1. Identification information.
    2. Gossip.
    3. Information that could be incriminating.
    4. Relationship issues.

It should be noted that secure information should not be broadcast unless the broadcast method is verified to be secure. An example is an automated email that includes a password. This broadcast is in response to a request in which identity is verified prior to the broadcast.

In all situations, it is of the utmost importance to consider the confidentiality of the content and what this implies as far as choosing communication methods. Depending on the situation, mishandling secure information could have very damaging consequences. In the business environment, these consequences may range from simple embarrassment to job loss.