When using a transcription service one thing you must check is the security of the file transfer mechanism used by that transcription service. The vast majority of audio we process at The Transcription People is confidential, this means that the audio our clients send to us must be sent to us across the internet securely, this means encrypting the audio from the sender all the way through to our servers.
How do we encrypt audio and what should you look for when hiring a transcription service?
There are a couple of common ways to transfer files across the internet, email and FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Neither of those are secure: email by default travels in the clear across the internet from the sender to the recipient. By “travels across the internet” we mean your email is passed from server to server, called hops, until it reaches its destination mail server. As email is sent in the clear the content could potentially be intercepted and read by others. FTP is also a very common way to move larger files and many smaller transcription services make use of this. FTP is fine for non confidential audio, using FTP again transmits data across the internet in the clear, unencrypted. When using FTP you are usually required to enter a user name and password to connect to the FTP server, that is just the key to open up access to a location on a server to deposit your file, it does not mean that your audio is encrypted. Both email and FTP can be secured; for email by using secure certificates for both the sender and receiver and for FTP to use the SFTP protocol (Secure File Transfer Protocol) which uses an encryption key exchange as the transfer is initiated, both of these are rarely used by the majority of small transcription services around Australia.
Recently there has been a boom in third party online file transfer services like SendThisFile.com which some transcription services have embraced. This allows senders to deposit large files, like audio, with the third party. This system does allow for secure file transfer but neither the sender or the receiver have any control of where the data is stored and who has access to that data.
Whats does The Transcription People do to secure file transfer?
At The Transcription People we use web browser secure file transfer across HTTPS direct on our own servers. HTTPS is a combination of Hypertext Transfer Protocol across SSL (Secure Socket Layers), which basically means that whatever is transmitted through the browser is encrypted. This is the protocol used by banks and credit card companies to secure data exchange between the browser and the server and is indicated by the padlock in the browser and the URL starting with https. Using this protocol the data is encrypted from the sender to the receivers server, across all internet hops.
We own and administer our own webservers, we do not share them with other websites or businesses and we have full access and control over our servers. Audio you securely transfer to us via our innovative and easy to use web application comes directly to us, securely across HTTPS.