Confidentiality is one of the key aspects of both human nature and the communications we use in our day-to-day interactions. With the moving in of the worldwide Web, using email hosting has become one of the most highly welcome means of communication. However, e-mails are not at all crack proof and in fact, some are very prone to peeping by anyone who has the skill and capability to do so.
There are different approaches you can use to ensure your e-mail is always secure. The safest and most radical way to avoid an e-mail confidentiality breach is to simply not use the service. The abstinence approach, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, is very secure only if it can be maintained.
Even though e-mail credibility is dependent upon the email hosting service provider you opt for, there still are not any solid rules that really pin down such corporations in case of a security breach due to their incompetence. Currently, there are no standards to enforce content security. Most email hosting providers transmit e-mail content in plain unencrypted text and regularly create unprotected backups at mail servers, leaving a digital trail that sticks for a while.
With e-mails taking the normal routing paths like any other piece of data transmitted on the Internet, crackers have a good number of loopholes through which they can peep into your private content. Inadequately protected routers in the transmission chain create loopholes that email hosting providers have little control of.
Though many Internet security experts argue that with the huge traffic of e-mails being sent at any specific time, it is highly improbable to isolate and manipulate the content of one specific message yet a well-endowed organization can deploy intelligent software to screen through such voluminous content with ease.
In addition to the probability of external hackings, email hosting companies can also breach the confidentiality of your mail. A good example is the effect of commercial pressure that leads to reputable providers like Yahoo and Gmail sharing e-mail content with advertisers. What else can explain the deployment of advertisements that are context-sensitive to the content of your e=mail?
While scrapping e-mail altogether can be a safe but radical approach, it's pretty obvious that you don't have to go down the road that the Department of Homeland Security’s Napolitano has taken. There are many solutions that exist that can fully encrypt the content of the e-mails sent making them harder, but not impossible to crack. In addition to this, it is on rare occasions when the few e-mails that get compromised wreck havoc if viewed by third parties. Napolitano however seems to have a different opinion on this which is understandable considering the nature of e=mails she receives.
Edited by Jamie Epstein