Why Email is Not Private

August 02, 2017
EMAIL AND TECHNOLOGY

With evolving technology, email has taken the place of many other increasingly-outdated spaces. A heartfelt letter to a friend that used to go through the U.S. Postal System now can be transmitted through email. A check to cover your utilities can now be sent, bank info and all, with the click of a button. The job application with your address and work history that used to be dropped off in person now travels to a potential employer through email. Do you have a private email service?

While we may presume those very private communications will remain private, that’s definitely not the case. When you use a public email service such as Gmail, your messages don’t just shoot off into cyberspace; email and Internet service providers often save a copy of every digital communication you send and receive. No matter how many times you hit delete or empty your digital trashcan, the imprint left by your messages can stay.

That imprint can be intercepted by others. While you certainly may not want your private messages insulting your boss or your sweet back and forth with your spouse to be read by anyone but the recipient, you definitely don’t want your financial documents and other sensitive information to be accessible by outside sources.

In addition to your messages being saved by a server, many large email service providers make it a practice to sell users’ information. That could scatter your personal details among countless databases, bringing your information before many more pairs of eyes.

So how can you protect your privacy? Email is an essential way of life now, so avoiding it altogether is just impractical. Practical options do exist, however, like registering for a private email address. Using a private server significantly reduces the avenues that hackers can use to access your information; the fewer hands your messages are in, the more secure your information remains.

A private email service means your messages stay between you and the intended sender. Your information won’t be archived in a vast and often-accessible database, and your data won’t be passed on to those who could have ill intentions. Learning how to use email smartly is the best way to ensure your privacy is protected.

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