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Chapter 8. E-mail Security

Electronic mail, or e-mail, is one of the most used resources on the Internet. It's up there with HTTP (Web surfing), and having access to both e-mail and HTTP is enough reason for most people to get their first computer. E-mail has been around since the earliest days of the Internet. During the dawn of the ARPAnet, predecessor of today's Internet, e-mail was built to facilitate electronic communication between people geographically dispersed, but connected by a network of computers. Today, e-mail serves much the same purpose, but in many more ways. E-mail is no longer a novelty item; it has become a common and almost necessary part of everyday life.

When you tell some folks that their e-mail is not private, they shrug it off and say, “I don't care.” They might think that because they are law-abiding citizens, they have nothing to hide. Well, having nothing to hide is one thing, but allowing anyone to read your personal conversations is another. Sending e-mail today is like using post cards instead of letters. At least a letter is sealed in an envelope, so you and the recipient will know when someone has tampered with it. Would you send all your correspondence through the mail on a postcard?


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