Review the tips below before deciding to proceed with a fax or email.

Here are some useful tips that may assist you in faxing documents.

Protect Your Privacy

  • Maintain your privacy. If you are using a third-party fax machine be aware of your surroundings and of others around you while faxing personal documents. Do not leave documents unattended.
  • Include a cover sheet, clearly identify the sender with your contact information and the intended recipient’s contact information.
    • Note on the cover sheet the total number of pages being sent.
    • Include a confidentiality clause instructing anyone who receives the fax in error to immediately notify the sender and then return or securely destroy the faxed documentation.
  • Some fax machines print the first page as a confirmation – having a cover sheet protects any personal information that may be on the first page of your actual document from being viewed in the confirmation printout.

Check Your Contact Information

  • Confirm you have the correct fax number of your intended recipient.
  • Carefully check the fax number you dialed before sending the fax, dialing a wrong fax number can accidentally send your information to the wrong destination.
  • If your fax machine has pre-programmed fax numbers, check them for accuracy.

Verify Transmission

  • Once a fax transmission is complete, verify all pages were transmitted and sent to the right place, see the fax confirmation report for this information.
  • Keep your fax confirmation receipt/report/sheet for your files.
  • Third-party fax machines may save/store your personal information with your fax transmission. Check with the organization/company that provides the fax service as to whether their fax machine retains your information.
  • Fax transmissions, like telephone calls, can be tapped and monitored.
  • If you fax sensitive or personal information, consider using secure fax machines that employ encryption or other security measures.
  • Do not make or keep extra copies of the faxed documents, securely destroy extra copies.

Sending sensitive or private information by email is not a secure means of transmission. Here are some useful tips when you are using email/online services.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Compliance

The City of Toronto is a PCI-DSS compliant merchant. Email messaging is not an acceptable method of communication of customer credit card information.

  • Customer emails containing credit card number(s) will not be processed and will not reach the City divisional email inbox destination.

This is to protect our customers’ privacy, personal information and to adhere to the City’s PCI-DSS compliance policies.

Public Wi-Fi

You should avoid using public Wi-Fi to send sensitive or personal information. All information that is not encrypted may be seen by all on the open network, including hackers. If you are accessing public Wi-Fi to send information, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Here are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself.

  • Maintain privacy by being aware of your surroundings and of others around you, especially when entering any passwords or viewing personal information in public.
  • Be sure you are connecting to the ‘”real” public Wi-Fi network of the establishment. If you are unsure of the network address, confirm with the owner/staff of the establishment.
  • Watch for spelling variations that may indicate a fraudulent website or network designed to access your private information.
  • Log out immediately after completing your session. Staying logged in leaves your private information vulnerable.

Secure Websites

The City is committed to protecting your personal information.

Ensure you are entering the City’s secure web pages before sharing any personal or sensitive information with us to reduce the risk of your personal information being compromised.

  • The address browser bar will begin with “https”. The “s” stands for “secure”.
  • The browser bar will also display a padlock image to signify it is a secure website.

Some web browsers may display colour and the organization’s name. This confirms the website is encrypted and secure as validated by a licensed and unbiased third-party agency.