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Intercepting Emails and Your Security

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 13 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Internet Service Providers Emails

We all of us receive and send emails from time to time, some more than others, and this is something that individuals with a desire to find out information about us use against us. Emails are designed to be quick and easy and a way of detailing subjects over the internet without having to draw up documents or spend time on long drawn out telephone calls. However in sending emails we leave ourselves open to potential identity fraud if we do not ensure our means of sending email is not secure.

Sending Emails at Work

Most companies turn a blind eye to the occasion sending and receiving of emails that are not necessarily work related but it is important to remember that this is now something that can lead to disciplinary procedures being levelled against us if that sending and receiving of the occasional email has a knock on effect to the standard and amount of work we produce.

Our employers have the right under law to monitor all emails sent and received and indeed in certain institutions and organisations this is something that is done as a matter of policy. Organisations that deal with the holding of details belonging to other people are often subject to email interception and as a result you may find that if you send an email you may not receive a reply – simply because the reply has been intercepted and blocked.

Another reason for this intercepting of email is the fact that person details can be passed across via electronic mail and unless they are monitored this transfer of information can go unnoticed.

Most government institutions that hold the data of the general public are subject to email interception and monitoring and any emails which are deemed to contravene the laws in place are automatically disposed of and disciplinary proceedings instigated.

Sending Emails at Home

At home you are free to send whatever you like via email although you should be aware that certain emails may be blocked and legal proceedings instigated if those emails contain images of pornography. It may seem like an invasion of privacy but the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who will normally provide you with an email address – are obliged by law to scan, monitor and detain any attachment which seems to be of a nature unsuitable for transfer via their systems.

Hackers, Trojans and Email

If you have downloaded a Trojan or virus which has gone undetected by your anti-virus software then there is a possibility that your email has been forwarded to an individual without your knowledge. A Trojan can insert lines of code into your email application which dictate that all emails are forwarded to what is normally an email address with no personal details attached to it. These emails are then scrutinised by identity thieves with a view to collating personal details and details of credit cards and bank accounts.

These Trojans can also instruct your email application to replicate emails sent by various banking institutions in the hope you will reply and enclose your banking details as they have asked. If you have received such an email – or do receive such an email – you should delete it immediately and ensure that your anti-virus software is up to date.

Emails from Banks and Building Societies

In internet terms these are the Holy Grail as you will never receive them. Most banking institutions will have already informed you by letter sent through the postal system that they will never ask you for information relating to your account over the internet.

If you receive such an email you should delete it immediately without opening it and ensure your anti-virus software is up to date.

It may also be worth spending the money on email scanning software – which is sometimes but not always included in your anti-virus software.

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