Email security in one of the most overlooked issue end users often neglect when implementing security on their systems. This may be due to the complexity of what occurs from the time you login to your email account, write an email and send it off to its destination point. Did you know that when you send email messages, they do not go directly to recipient mailboxes? Internet Service Providers (ISPs) stores copies of all your email messages on its mail servers before it tries to deliver them.
Just recently, hackers broke into the Yahoo! Email account of The Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin. She used her Yahoo! Email for official business as Alaska's governor and the hackers posted some of her email content on the Internet. The FBI and Secret Service are investigating this matter. Industry best practices usually shy away from using free email services such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail to conduct sensitive, governmental and private company business. This is why Palin has taken criticism for using private email to conduct government business, which some critics feel it is a way to circumvent various public record laws.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated, an investigation will begin into the group who hacked into Sarah Palin’s email and posted messages on the internet. Intercept of private email communication - even of a public figure - is a federal offense. Not only can the original hackers be charged, but all those who posted the messages as well.
Rick Davis, John McCain's campaign manager, issued this statement about reports that Sarah Palin's personal email has been hacked:
"This is a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment."
SecurityOrb.com has posted seven (7) tips to aid users in conducting better email security practices:
1. Properly log out of your email program when you are done. Do not just exit out of the browser.
2. Clear cache, history and passwords when you are done, especially at public computers
3. Limit the amount of personal and financial information via email
4. Do not share your account with another user
5. Do not use simple and easy to guess passwords
6. Use encryption when necessary
7. Properly exit out of the browser when you have logged out of the email application.