Email Privacy

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Email Privacy

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About Email Privacy

Email might feel like a private, one-to-one conversation safe from prying eyes, but email is about as confidential as whispering at the White House. Your messages can be intercepted and read anywhere in transit, or reconstructed and read off of backup devices, for a potentially infinite period of time.

If you're sending email at work, your boss can legally monitor it, and if your company becomes involved in a lawsuit, your adversary has the legal right to review it. If you send email from home, anonymous hackers can intercept it, and if you are suspected of a crime, law enforcement officials with a warrant can seize your electronic correspondence. Even your Internet service provider may legally be able to scrutinize your email.

What all this amounts to is simple: Unless you take affirmative steps to encrypt your messages—a process that uses sophisticated software to garble your words and then allow the recipient to unscramble and read them—don't count on email as a confidential method of transmitting