A prospective business associate wants me to send an image of an application with some of my important self-identifying information via SMS as an attachment, e.g. image or PDF of the form. This doesn't sound secure to me. I have no reason to believe that the recipient, nor I, has a particular issue with being the subject of a hacker, but in general, this doesn't sound like a good practice. Should I look for an alternate method to send this form?

  • 1
    Did you already explore encrypted and password protected PDF?
    – Vasu
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 1:42
  • @Vasu The next question will be: how do you send the password? Also by SMS? Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 3:15
  • @Vasu No, I didn't consider the protected PDF. It occurred to me that I would also have to deliver the password. I suppose I could just call the person and tell them and hope they write it down.
    – shea
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 4:14
  • @shea You could also send it to them in an email, assuming the email service you both use can provide encryption between them (e.g. if they are both Gmail). Or send the password in email, if they refuse to accept the PDF anywhere but over SMS.
    – forest
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 7:45

1 Answer 1


When the channel is seen as untrusted, a common way is to encrypt the information and send the password over a different channel.

Some examples actually used:

  • send the encrypted information by mail or via a web site, and the password on a physical paper send via postal mail
  • send the encrypted information by mail, and give the password by phone - this assumes that the phone is not a smartphone than can be used to read the mail...

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