Why You Should Avoid Instant Messaging Services for Emergency Communications

To reduce costs, businesses around the world are turning to free apps for texting and instant messaging.

These programs do serve the purpose of communicating in real-time. Yet, there are grave concerns when organizations turn to these apps and programs for their emergency notifications. By choosing a “free” app to provide communications during an emergency, organizations may be at risk of noncompliance with federal and international regulations. This blog explains how your organization may be in jeopardy when using these types of services for communicating with the public or internal teams in a crisis.

Lack of Monitoring and Recording

While instant messaging services are typically free and universally recognized, such apps and platforms come with a high cost of risk to the target audience. For starters, organizations that use these services cannot track and record which individuals have read emergency notification messages. Furthermore, there is no way for message recipients to organize the information they do receive.

Without a way to monitor message deliveries, organizations don’t have valid documentation for auditing purposes. As a result, there isn’t a way to evaluate the success of the notification plan and make necessary improvements. Given the ever-changing regulatory landscape and the need to provide valid and successful notifications in a crisis scenario, documentation is critical. These apps and instant messenger programs aren’t capable of providing important feedback on delivery results.

Security Risks

The last thing an organization needs during an emergency is to have their communication channels hacked or compromised. When using an instant messaging service, there are major security concerns. Most apps and programs do not offer organizations the ability to conduct and control penetration or other types of security tests.  For organizations that are focused on providing communications during an emergency, testing and evaluation are an essential element of the response strategy.

Finding the Right Service

While instant messaging platforms and texting apps serve a purpose, these services are not up to par for today’s complex organizations. Certain countries, such as the UK, are prohibiting the use of such services in the business environment. Simply put, as noted by the Information Commissioner’s Office that oversees the General Data Protection Regulation, the use of these services for professional communications is in violation of EU data protection. The EU crackdown could be just the beginning, with the US and other leading nations pushing for better security of communication networks. One way that your organization can forgo this security risk and improve your emergency notifications is to choose the best service designed for emergency notifications.

Enter OnSolve

SWN Direct from OnSolve is a cost-effective SMS app that enables fully encrypted communication including Secure Chat, which is a fully integrated chat feature for secure, end-to-end text communication. The platform provides geo-tracking and an encrypted lockbox for file sharing. Best of all, the fully secure system is designed for the tracking, monitoring, and auditing of message deliveries. SWN Direct keeps organizations compliant and provides full visibility to important feedback required to effectively monitor and improve notification reach.

Contact OnSolve today to find out how to get started with this multi-modal communications platform and mobile app. We will provide you with a free demo of SWN Direct and help you determine if this is the right solution for your organization.