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Don’t Expect Email Privacy Without Encryption

By Bob Hooper for Island Eye News

Emails are postcards. You send out that email to friends, relatives, work and away it goes…. To WHERE? Here are some things to remember about emails and the “free” fax services that people use every day without a thought. An email is like sending a postcard through the “snail“ mail. It has no security or rather envelope to hide the contents.

 Once an email leaves your computer and goes out on the “net” to be delivered to an email address it goes through several “stops” or servers. Each one of these servers CAN and some cases DO keep a copy of everything that goes through them. It is possible that an email sent thru Gmail (or any other service) could be “copied” several times on its way to the intended person. This happens with “free” fax services so please do not send your 1040 tax return to someone using that service because most likely it will be copied along the way.

That does not mean someone is actively looking at these copies BUT still it is stored somewhere not in your control nor the control of the person you were sending it to. ALL emails/faxes/etc. can be copied along the way to the intended person. Please remember this when sending info.

Now for some good news. You can send emails encrypted which if copied does have an envelope around it.

Outlook allows you to send your email as “encrypted.”

In Office 2007, 2010 and 2103/16 you can send a message encrypted. On the top of your new message you can use an option to encrypt that message, or you can do it for all new messages.

Be aware, though, if you make it all messages, the people it’s going to would need a password to open.

Other software does the same. If you using an online email service (Gmail/AOL/Yahoo, etc.) it’s a bit harder and some do not offer it at all.

If you want help or have questions don’t hesitate to call Rent A Bob at 843.822.7794 or email at

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