How Private Is Your Email?

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

3) The email gets sent to your SMTP server (this isrepparttar system which accepts your email message and forwards along towardsrepparttar 109663 destination). At this point,repparttar 109664 message could, in theory, be read by someone tapping your phone (or cable) connection. It's not likely (unless you are a spy or something) but it's possible (and not all that hard).

If you are at work, well,repparttar 109665 email probably gets sent to your SMTP server through something called a proxy server (the computer which managesrepparttar 109666 connections torepparttar 109667 internet). If so, a copy ofrepparttar 109668 email could be stored onrepparttar 109669 proxy server. In theory, this could be examined by someone who had access to that server.

If you happen to sendrepparttar 109670 email from your companies own email system, it is highly likely (especially in larger companies) thatrepparttar 109671 email will be examined by context checking software. This is looking for curse words, sexual harassment, resumes and any other inappropriate content. Any emails found which violate company policy may be directly routed to personnel.

4) Okay,repparttar 109672 email gets delivered torepparttar 109673 SMTP server which it is stored, still as a simple plain text file, until it is sent torepparttar 109674 next SMTP server. You see, emails never go directly from your outbox to someone's inbox. They move from server to server until they find their way to their destination. Each server keeps a copy ofrepparttar 109675 email until it is forwarded torepparttar 109676 next one.

5) SMTP servers are computer programs and they can be programmed to do malicious or unusual things. For example, a law enforcement agency could, in theory, program an SMTP server to make a copy of any emails directed to a particular person, and send those copies to their office.

A hacker could, in theory, program an SMTP server (or examine messages coming acrossrepparttar 109677 wire) to look for series of characters that looked like credit card numbers (they are pretty obvious). These email messages could be directed torepparttar 109678 hacker's own mailbox, thus giving him a steady supply of income.

6) At any of these SMTP servers,repparttar 109679 email could be examined by anyone who has access torepparttar 109680 email system. The internet "wire" could also be "tapped" andrepparttar 109681 email message captured onrepparttar 109682 fly (this is highly unlikely but it is possible).

7) Since software is simply a series of rules created by human beings, it is possible for an SMTP server to misunderstand how to route your email. Thus, a message could be sent torepparttar 109683 wrong recipient (this has happened to me a few times) or torepparttar 109684 wrong SMTP server.

8) There is no guarantee thatrepparttar 109685 person who receives a message is actuallyrepparttar 109686 person who isrepparttar 109687 intended recipient. Someone else could be using their email client, for example, or an SMTP server may have misdirectedrepparttar 109688 email torepparttar 109689 wrong inbox. In this case it works exactly likerepparttar 109690 post office -repparttar 109691 mailperson putsrepparttar 109692 mail in your mail slot, but he does not guarantee that you will berepparttar 109693 one who picks uprepparttar 109694 mail.

And since most emails are just text, they can be read by whoever happens to receive them without any problems.

9) Naturally, once an email is receive it is stored onrepparttar 109695 hard drive ofrepparttar 109696 recipient. They are usually stored in text files (for normal emails) or inrepparttar 109697 Temporary Internet Folder (for web based emails).

10) Of course, once someone does receive an email he or she is free to forward that email onto just about anyone, startingrepparttar 109698 whole process over again.

11) At any point in this entire scenario,repparttar 109699 email message can be backed up or archived. In this case, it can be recovered later and delivered torepparttar 109700 wrong person.

So please,repparttar 109701 next time you send those highly personal messages remember that they can be read by anyone. You have no way to know where these things wind up or how long they will last. The could pop up anywhere at anytime with a vengeance.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

What is Spam?

Written by Michael Bloch

Continued from page 1

A first-hand report indicates thatrepparttar term is derived from a famous Monty Python sketch ("Well, we have Spam, tomato & Spam, egg & Spam, Egg, bacon & Spam...") that was current when spam first began arriving onrepparttar 109662 Internet. Spam is a trademarked Hormel meat product that was well-known inrepparttar 109663 U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.

Michael Bloch Tutorials, web content and tools, software and community. Web Marketing, eCommerce & Development solutions. _____________________________________________ 

Copyright information....If you wish to reproduce this article, please acknowledge "Tamingrepparttar 109664 Beast" by including a hyperlink or reference torepparttar 109665 website ( & send me an email letting me know. The article must be reproduced in it's entirety & this copyright statement must be included. Thanks. Visit to view other great articles FREE for reproduction!

Michael is an Australian Information Technologies trainer and web developer. Many other free web design, ecommerce development and Internet articles, tutorials, tools and resources are available from his award winning site; Taming the (

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