People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley says former prime minister Patrick Manning may have deliberately misguided his constituents regarding the nominations for the San Fernando Ea
You are here
Defending the inbox
In spite of the rise of social media and instant messaging, e-mail remains one of the most dominant communications and file transport tools used in business today. It is easy to use, and most users have a high level of confidence that their e-mail will be delivered safely to intended recipients. But this perception does not always line up with reality. Even as e-mail usage is expected to grow to over 4.3 billion accounts by 2016, it is still based on a relatively antiquated set of protocols. As usage grows, so do the threats that confidential information can be compromised. In the digital age can data compromise can come at a hefty financial and reputational price.
How e-mail works
E-mail is often likened to postal mail. We write our messages, dispatch them and they are delivered to their destination address. We can send copies to third parties and save a copy for our records. To understand e-mail privacy, though, there is an important difference to keep in mind.
Unlike a letter that is physically carried physically from post box to post office, to post office to mail slot, an e-mail message is routed over the Internet by being copied from server to server until it reaches its destination mailbox. Most significantly, unless an e-mail is encrypted, these copies are transmitted in plainly legible text.
This raises two important considerations. First, on its way to its eventual destination, copies of your e-mail might end up in a number of places on the Internet, possibly including servers monitored by hackers or intelligence services. Second, though unlikely for most people, it not really possible to verify the integrity of e-mail you send and receive unless it is encrypted. This means that an e-mail you receive from an address you know, may have been modified along the way or forged altogether. Most users will not be able to discern the difference.