Just How Secure is Your Email Anyways?

Nancy Anderson
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As a job hunter, you most likely may send private information almost everyday via email. After all, email is the primary way most people send resumes and communicate with organizations - and individuals - for both business and networking purposes.

Do you realize though that sending any information over the Internet – via email – is similar to sending a postcard *with* a one hundred dollar bill stapled to it? Why? Well, according to Ram Tanamy, the CEO of Simplicato.com – an email hosting and archiving company, when you send and receive emails, these messages pass through the sender, the recipient and the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Further, these messages are saved within the ISPs servers. That said, emails that you thought you deleted months – even years back – may still be available on your ISP’s servers. Further, email messages can be modified while they are in transit – before the email reaches the intended recipient. Of course, there are also the issues of identity theft and general privacy invasion problems that can arise from insecure email.

Additionally, it is important to remember that email security issues are difficult to diagnose. For instance, you will not know that someone is reading and modifying your email until an email security breach has occurred.

This situation does not sound too secure does it?

Well, fortunately, there are steps that you can take to secure your email – so that all of your personal and employment information remains private. In fact, if you implement certain email security strategies, you can upgrade your “useless postcard level email security” to one that is much, much more secure. How can you achieve this level of email security though?

"The most secure way to send email is using public-key encryption, where the sender encrypts the message using the public key of the recipient and the recipient decrypt the message using its own private key”, says Ram Tanamy of Simplicato.com.

“Yet – this method is not unbreakable by brute force with enough computational power and time – but usually only the most devoted hackers will invest the time necessary. Also, the private key should be kept secure and available to the recipient when needed. Otherwise, the recipient will not have access to the message.”

Perhaps then, while email security may not be a topic that you think about on a day-to-day basis, since you are sending personal information via email when you apply for jobs, it may be wise to give this topic more thought.

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Larisa Redins is a full time writer and editor with degrees in both Arts and Biological Science. She writes about career issues and other topics for a variety of international websites, magazines, and businesses.


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