Security informational articles

Is your email private? part 1 of 3 - confidence


In a word, no - an email implication has all the time been nobody more than a down-to-earth text implication sent unencrypted to a recipient we choose. So all the email that we so merrily send all over the Internet everyday is neither classified nor secure. Every birthday welcoming or Dear John email, every complaint, rant or verbal purge we may have sent to our employers, acclaim companies, congressman or buyer benefit rep is branch of learning to conveyance errors or outright interception.

How can this be? To key that we need to absorb how email works. For the vast adulthood of email users today, the email classification they use consists of two servers given that incoming and outgoing services, SMTP and POP3.

The SMTP (Simple Mail Assign Protocol) head waiter handles the outgoing email. SMTP was calculated years ago when plain ascii text was all there was to send via email. So, when you push the "Send" badge in your email client, the SMTP ma?tre d' at your ISP (Internet Assistance Provider) connects with the incoming POP3 (Post Administrative center Protocol ver. 3) ma?tre d'h?tel where you are conveyance the email. The servers have a short "chat" verifying that the email deal with you are demanding to send to exists on the incoming POP3 server. Then the SMTP ma?tre d' passes the communication to the POP3 ma?tre d' and the POP3 ma?tre d'h?tel puts the letter into the recipient's email box. At no time all through the deal with is your email encrypted to defend your privacy. The implication could be intercepted at anytime all through the deal with and read by anyone.

On occasion, email sent to you or by you may even be delivered to the wrong inbox and your classified communication is no longer private. A definite misdirected idea could expose you to all kinds of anxiety depending upon it's content.

Well, no one wants to read your email right? Wrong! Have you ever heard of Carnivore? That's a approach that the FBI uses to garner all email passage going all through a network. How does this distress you? When the FBI hooks Carnivore up to your ISP's exchange ideas for the reason that they be wary of a celebrity of commerce drugs or some other crime, Carnivore will filter because of ALL email looking for keywords that communicate to the crime in question. And since the examination has to be intentionally vague, you may be transfer a application for in rank about a prescription drug you take and Carnivore will bring in your email to be read by a human agent. Suddenly, the drugs you're compelling are now communal knowledge. Spammers have also been known to collect email addresses via captured emails.

OK - so now that you know the problem, what be supposed to you do about securing your privacy? It was hinted at at an earlier time on. . . encryption! Learn how to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to encrypt your email.

PGP uses a Public/Private key approach to encrypt email. First you construct a "Public" key. This is the key that others will use to encrypt email sent to you. Send this key to each you want to be given encrypted email from. Then you construct a "Private" key. This is the key you use to decrypt any encrypted email sent to you. Safeguard this key well. It is the only thing that can decrypt your messages. If you tell a big shot what it is or loose it, your privacy is again compromised.

For more in sequence on PGP and a free download visit: http://www. pgpi. org.

Next Time: Incorporating PGP into your email. . .

Michael Ameye has been emergent web sites since 1995. He ongoing inscription about online privacy issues to come back with questions from family, links and co-workers. Visit http://www. canyourspam. com to see his most up-to-date work.

He is also the chief editor of PSS Online, A Privacy, Wellbeing and Defense eZine committed to bringing chief in a row to citizens in order to advance a safer more assure location - online and off. Visit http://www. pssonline. info to subscribe.


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