Everyday I get asked one question or another about
Email or Email Privacy , so I hope this helps .
OPENING AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT
Receiving Files Attached to Email Messages
If someone sends you a message with an attached file, the file is automatically copied to your hard drive when you check for your new messages. You'll also see an icon next to the email that lets you know that this message contains an attached file. You can then open and view the attachment when you read the message. If you delete the message, the attached file is deleted from your hard drive.
Attachment safety: Regular email messages cannot contain computer viruses, but attachments can. It's a good idea to scan attached files for viruses before using them. Read more tips about attaching files.
To view attached files, follow the directions for your browser.
Netscape Communicator indicates that a file is attached to a message by displaying a paperclip icon in the message window. Clicking this icon opens a panel at the bottom of the message window that contains an icon for the attached file. This panel may also include a file that contains the sender's email signature and the text of the message.
To open an attached file, double-click the file's icon. If Netscape can open the file, its content will appear in a new browser window. If Netscape cannot open the file, it will let you copy it to your hard drive. You can then open it with the appropriate application (like Microsoft Word, ClarisWorks, Adobe Photoshop, or other common programs).
Internet Explorer and Outlook Express
If a message includes an attached file, Outlook Express displays a paperclip next to the message in your Inbox folder. The email program also displays a paperclip icon in the upper-right corner of the message window.
To open the attached file, click the paperclip icon on the message window. This opens a pop-up menu containing the names of all attached files. Select the file you want to open. Outlook will ask you if you want to open the file or save it to your hard disk. If you choose Open It, Outlook will attempt to display the file's contents. If you choose Save it to disk, the program will let you copy it to your hard drive. You can then open it with the appropriate application.
Don't mix business and leisure. Get an e-mail address for personal use.
You have little privacy protection with company e-mail. Most businesses claim that it is their right and responsibility to monitor e-mail, because it represents the company, uses company equipment and travels over the company network. You could argue the point, but getting a private e-mail address is much easier. Then use your business address for company business only.
Use encryption software.
Unless you encrypt your messages--essentially scrambling the data--your e-mail is no more private than a postcard. An easy-to-use encryption program you can download for free is PGP.
Don't reply to spam.
Sure, junk e-mail is a nuisance, but it's easier to get rid of than the paper kind--just hit the Delete key. If you reply to the message, asking to be removed from the list, it just confirms that your address is valid. You will soon be spammed and spammed again.
Remove old e-mail from your computer.
When you delete a message, it's still on your system. To permanently remove it, open the Deleted Mail folder, highlight the message and delete it again.
Be aware that the message may still reside somewhere on your computer. A trained technician may be able to recover it. Messages may also remain on the mail server and be archived in file back-ups.
Turn on the cookie alert.
A cookie is a small file sent to your web browser by a web server to record your activities on a particular website. To block the cookie, set your browser to warn you before a cookie is written to your hard drive, then decide whether to accept or reject it. Here's how:
If you use Netscape Navigator 5.0, go to the Edit menu, choose Preferences, then click on Advanced. Now check this box: "Warn me before accepting a cookie."
If you use Internet Explorer 5.0 or a later release, go to the Tools menu, then select Internet Options. Next, click on the Security tab, then click on the Custom Level button. Scroll down the list. Under the Cookie category, check the Prompt option.
To prevent your activities from being tracked as you browser websites, use online tools that disguise who you are and where you come from. One reliable service we recommend is http://www.Anonymizer.com
Review sites' privacy policies.
Websites that collect personal data may allow you to decide whether the data can be shared with third parties, such as marketing companies, and whether you want to receive e-mail offers from them. Typically you check a box, either agreeing to this or refusing. You have no obligation to share your personal information with anyone, so opt-out if the offer holds no interest.
For more on opting-out, and an easy way to notify sites that you want to opt-out, visit the Center for Democracy and Technology.
Make sure your computer is secure.
If you access the Internet with a dial-up account, the chances of data theft are minimal. But if you have high-speed Internet access, such as DSL or a cable modem, watch out. With these "always on" connections, you become a more likely target for hackers. Gibson Research Corporation offers a free diagnostic that tests your security. Go to the site and click on Shields Up!
If you don't get a clean report, install a firewall. One program we recommend is ZoneAlarm. You can download it for free from ZoneLabs.
Clean up your history files, location bar list and cache.
As you surf the Web, your browser both records the addresses of where you have been and stores downloaded files in a cache. If you want to keep this information from prying eyes, clear the temporary Internet files, delete the history files and the drop-down list under the address or location bar. While this may seem an extreme step, if you share a computer, or use a public computer, consider doing this. Here's how:
If you use Netscape Navigator 4.0 or a later release, go to the Edit menu, choose Preferences, then click on Navigator. Now click on the Clear History and Clear Location Bar buttons.
Next, To clear the cache, double-click on Advanced. Now click on Cache. Finally, click on the Clear Memory Cache and Clear Disk Cache buttons.
If you use Explorer 5.0 or a later release, under the Tools menu, select Internet Options. Now click on the General tab. Next, click on the Delete Files and Clear History buttons
Every day, millions of people use electronic mail to conduct business and to communicate with friends and family. But if you think your e-mail is private, guess again. E-mail is no more private than a postcard. Unlike other forms of communication, such as telephone calls, which are protected in the United States under laws like The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, e-mail has little similar protection. The situation becomes even murkier for messages sent or received at the office.
For Your Eyes Only?
An electronic message typically makes numerous stops at computers along the route to its final destination. At each stop, it can be intercepted and read by prying eyes. Why would someone want to do this? For hackers, there's the challenge of eavesdropping in cyberspace; for business competitors, confidential information may have great value. After all, information is power.
Where Has All the E-Mail Gone?
Even after you've received a message and deleted it, the message doesn't vanish. Many Internet service providers archive e-mail for some period of time. These archives can be accessed by snoops and even subpoenaed in the event that someone is suing you. The same holds true for messages received at work. Although you hit the Delete key, the message may still exist in the company system. Those off-color jokes you've been circulating may come back to haunt you!
Let the Writer Beware
While U.S. law offers limited privacy protection for communication over the Internet, almost none exists for electronic messages sent within the workplace. In fact many companies take the position that they not only have a right, but the responsibility to review employees' e-mail. They argue that e-mail is no different than writing letters and memos on company letterhead. Because electronic communication represents the company and is conducted using company equipment over the company network, businesses contend that they have a right to monitor e-mail. Many employees take the opposite position, claiming their right to privacy unless informed otherwise.
While most companies now use e-mail, many don't have an official e-mail policy. In the absence of a policy, employees often feel a false sense of security, particularly because many e-mail accounts are password protected. Passwords do offer some protection, but not from system administrators, who can access almost anyone's e-mail. This comes as news to many employees who mistakenly believe that communication with colleagues is private. In fact in a number of cases, casual e-mail messages that criticized the company have landed on the boss's desk. The result? The employees were fired. In the ensuing lawsuit, the courts have upheld company actions.
To avoid legal skirmishes, businesses, even small ones, should establish an Acceptable Use Policy for e-mail that clearly sets out permissible workplace uses, prohibited uses, and penalties for violation of the policy.
An Ounce of Prevention
You can protect yourself from prying eyes. First of all, regard e-mail