Bad news for lawyers who still have a fax machine. It’s a security risk that hackers can use to access your whole computer system. This includes all-in-one printer/copier/fax machines.

Here is a recent Washington Post article discussing the problem. It says the legal industry still relies on fax machines:

The re­port es­ti­mates that there are more that 17 million fax ma­chines in use in the United States alone. The legal and med­i­cal fields both con­tin­ue to rely heav­i­ly on fax ma­chines to con­duct busi­ness be­cause they are wide­ly con­sid­ered to be a more se­cure form of trans­mit­ting sensi­tive in­for­ma­tion and sig­na­tures com­pared with email.

It should have said the legal and medical fields continue to use fax machines because they are stupid.

You don’t have to get rid of your fax capability to ditch the fax machine. Open an account with efax or a similar service ($16-ish per month) and you can send and receive ‘faxes’ without actually having a fax machine. It uses the newfangled internet machine.

I’ve had an efax account for over a year. I’ve sent, at most, one fax. I’ve received, at most, 5 faxes. I’m thinking about ditching efax, but at $16 a month, it’s practically free.

You also don’t need faxes for signatures. Figure out how to use electronic signature software like SignNow. It’s easy.

Your documents will come back signed faster than you ever imagined possible. It’s particularly useful when you need something signed by someone who is not tech savvy enough to scan and return a document.

The funny thing is, I bet a high percentage of lawyers still using fax machines are afraid of the cloud because of the security risks.