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If a file is being transferred using an SSL connection, it cannot be intercepted and read (or listened to) while traveling between a PC and a web server.

Sometimes the size of the key used to encrypt the SSL connection is discussed. While longer keys make it more difficult decipher or “break” an encrypted transmission, in general you can trust any SSL-encrypted connection.

In addition, those connections using some form of local wireless connectivity (e.g. “Wi-Fi”) should absolutely be certain that wireless security is in place to secure the connection between the laptop or PC and the wireless router. Use WPA or WPA2 security instead of the older, less secure WEP. This is separate from the security features of the products that move files location to location using the Internet.

How files are being transmitted can have an important impact on privacy concerns.

Email, for example, is almost always not encrypted, making it a poor choice for transmitting confidential files. Even if the digital audio file or finished word processing document is individually encrypted before being attached to an email, privacy can be compromised if information such as patient name is included in the body of the email, or the name of the file itself.

FTP, or “file transfer protocol” transfers present the same problem, unless some form of “secure” ftp is used, which is not automatic.

Web-based file transfers using SSL connections depend on the encryption technology built in to all web browsers. This is the same technology used to keep credit card, online banking, and other financial information private, and as a result is widely available and well supported by most file transfer products. An advanced web technology called WebDAV (often referred to as Web Folders) can also be used along with SSL to make file movement both convenient and secure.

Products and methods that use a “client” program installed on a PC, which in turn communicates with a corresponding “server” program across the Internet, should use either SSL or some other form of encryption.

Move Your Transcription Business from Tape to Digital - A How-To Guide from My Docs Online © 2008 My Docs Online, Inc.

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