Who's Reading Your E-mail?
Think everything's secure? Are you certain that the bold, somewhat sexist joke you sent to your friend Jim will never be seen by any other eyes... and that the date you made (against office policy) will never be discovered as long as she/he doesn't tell (brag?). If you answered "yes" - think again.
The Difference is The Law
E-mail is not protected like the U.S. Mail, and it is legal for upper management to read it. 60 Minutes, a CBS TV show, ran an excellent story about this widespread problem for employees everywhere. Yes, according to one survey, 36 percent of employers admitted to reading it. This number is most certainly higher than the 36% of many years ago, since we all know that many people must have said "no" because of their embarrassment.
Interviewees on the show talked of losing their jobs based upon the contents of what they presumed to be private messages. What they wrote was taken out of context to further the cause of others. People were judged unfairly, albeit, legally. Consultants talked about restoring files that were deleted from computers by users who thought the files were gone for good. In fact another CBS show found that 60% of employers read E-mail messages of their employees. Two women at PNC Bank were actually fired over a joke! And, that is no laughing matter.
How can a deleted file be read?
First off, files are not really deleted when you press the delete key. Can you say Oliver North? Rather, the area of the disk that contains the file is simply made available for the storage of new information. However, until new information is actually written to that portion of the disk, the file is recoverable. Another prime problem are the backup tapes/server files that save your data, but also save everything else.
Since E-mail is usually stored on a server that is backed-up completely, every night, if not more frequently, your deleted messages may come back to haunt you. Many of today's sophisticated backup products can also automatically copy information stored on your desktop computer, which is connected to the network. Although some of these products give you the option of blocking personal files/directories from the backup, it is an exceptional MIS department that will tell you how to do this.
Wow, are there other risks?
As for other security breaches, anyone using a protocol analyzer to test the wiring or just snoop, can capture the information packets that are being sent from one computer/phone to another. One of those packets might be your E-mail, your private message.
Also, most system administrators can read everything on a server. Speaking of reading, have you ever really read the Online Service Agreement from your Internet Service Provider? Many forbid you to use certain words or phrases they find offensive. But, how would they know if you were? Easy, all they have to do is look. And if they find anything they consider offensive, your service could be terminated!
Don't wait until its too late. If you
send E-mail, or share your computer with
anyone, find out how you can regain your