Sending a fax or email is a convenient way to send and receive documents electronically. A general guideline is to only fax or email personal information if you are comfortable in doing so. If you are not comfortable in electronically sending your personal information, please seek other methods of sending or dropping off your documents.

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

Protect Your Privacy

  • Maintain privacy, especially if you are faxing sensitive information. 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 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 print out.

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 sensitive personal 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 company who 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 personal information, consider using secure fax machines that employ encryption or other security measures.
  • Do not make or keep extra copies of faxed document, securely destroy extra copies.

Security is important when you’re sending sensitive information over the internet. Here are some useful tips that will assist you in emailing documents and accessing 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, hereby:

  • 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

If you are accessing wireless internet in a public setting, there are steps you can take to protect your privacy:

  • Maintain privacy by being aware of your surroundings and others around you, especially when entering any passwords or viewing personal information in public.
  • Be sure you are connecting to a secure network. Watch for spelling variations in the web address which may indicate a fraudulent website designed to access your private information.
  • Log out immediately after completing your session. Staying logged in to a computer that is not yours leaves your private information vulnerable.

Secure Websites

When sending private information online, there are ways to be sure you are entering a secure website:

  • 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 company’s name. This confirms the website is encrypted and secure as validated by a licensed and unbiased 3rd party agency.

The City is committed to protecting your personal information.