Every day hundreds of millions of emails are sent. Some of the emails contain mundane items like the latest sale on airline fares. Other emails may contain personal, financial and healthcare information you don’t want anybody else to see.
What most people don’t realize is a vast majority of the email on the internet is unencrypted and open for anybody to read or harvest information from. A majority of users have Yahoo mail or Gmail accounts but retrieve their messages on their smartphones or desktop email clients. As emails move across the internet, hopping from server to server, your emails are duplicated and stored unencrypted.
So, why do people and companies want to read your emails and harvest your information? Its simple, to make money legally through sending you ads or illegally by stealing your assets. The more information that data harvesters find out about you, the finer the targeting mechanism can be used on you. A bulk phishing email from a foreign prince asking you for assistance to transfer assets into the country is much less effective than a fake email from your boss telling you to pay the attached invoice from a new vendor. Both emails are bogus, but the second email is spear phishing by specifically targeting you from a known sender.
What can you do to prevent your privacy loss?
Using privacy software like PrivatizeMe will disrupt third party data harvesting and obscure the digital fingerprint of your device when checking your email via a browser. If you can’t be identified, targeted or spear phishing attacks directed towards you are much more difficult. To some extent there is safety in numbers by being part of the herd.