[thelist] Sensitve information on the web

Todd Richards todd at promisingsites.com
Tue Nov 2 19:22:14 CDT 2010

Here is a question that I’ve gotten multiple times, most recently today:

"I have attached a copy of a form, which we normally print and mail to
potential clients.  We'd like to have it converted to a form where they
could fill it out and have it emailed to us."

The problem that I have is that the form contains areas for date of birth,
social security numbers, financial information (mostly about amounts rather
than banking numbers), etc.

I have always answered "no, I won't do that, and here is why", and I
answered the same way again today.  My main reason is that it's too
sensitive of information to have it transmitted around via an email.

My recommendation is to have the form (usually in a Word .doc format)
converted to PDF, then they can print it off and fill it out.  The other
option is to create a fillable PDF form, where they can type their answers
in and print it out.  However, if you let them save it, then they can send
it via email.  I also said they could get an SSL certificate, have the form
put on the web and written to a database, then they can log in and get the
information and run a report and print out the information.  But then you're
running into things like making sure their client has a web login so they
can go and update the information.

Am I missing something, or am I being too cautious?  After answering them
tonight, I thought I'd get someone else's take on it.



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