E-mail has been around for a while. And even though we have e-mail but more advanced features like team rooms, and chat and video exist but we still prefer emails to carry out most of our business needs.
So, we also have to focus on the most important aspect of using emails while doing any type of communications that is Privacy and Security.
We will understand this by assuming certain claims :
The following article explains the truth of these alarming statements and why you should be concerned if you're sending confidential messages by e-mail.
When you send an e-mail message from computer A to computer B it passes through one or more machines (C, D, E, etc.) on its journey. At each step along the way, an unscrupulous individual with access to the intermediate machine has the opportunity to read -- or even alter -- your e-mail message.
Within a private intranet (i.e. a company network), such privacy violations could occur if:
When e-mail is sent over the Internet (a public network) the risks become notably higher. If you send an e-mail message from Sydney to New York it may pass through half-a-dozen machines on its journey, each of which are subject to the risks mentioned above. Thus the hazards accumulate with each extra machine that the message passes through.
Another risk with e-mail is that you really don't know who will receive it. This happens because some people choose to forward(i.e. divert) their e-mail to another person or authorise another person to read it for them. For example, if you send a message to a senior colleague, remember that this person's e-mail might be read by his or her secretary or stand-in. That can be awkward.
I know of a case where a manager sent an e-mail report to his CEO describing a clerical officer's poor performance. The CEO had, unfortunately, forwarded his e-mail to his acting secretary, who that day happened to be (you guessed it) the clerical officer in question. The clerical officer read the critical report, and all manner of morale problems ensued.
A further privacy issue surrounding e-mail involves what happens when you delete an e-mail message. You might expect that deleting an e-mail message removes it irretrievably. This is often not the case. though.
In fact, it's a tough job to delete every copy of a piece of e-mail. There are many ways that a "deleted" e-mail message might still be accessible:
The moral of this story is clear: e-mail is not a private medium. Don't send messages by e-mail unless you're comfortable assuming that they may be read by people other than the intended recipients.
So next time you go to press that "Send" button, ask yourself "Am okay with this being seen publicly?" If not pick up the phone!