The email has become one of the primary means of communicating today. Compared to other traditional means, it makes correspondence faster and easier, and brings ease to both sender and receiver. Documents can now be sent quickly, with the expenses kept at a minimum. Having internet connection everywhere you go also plays a big factor, as messages are sent real time and responses are usually given in an instant.
What could be the biggest downside to email correspondence however, is the fact that security is always a risk. Email hacking has become a threat to all email users as identities and important data are compromised. Just like hackers who spread computer viruses, those responsible for email hacking take it as a challenge to somehow find ways around every type of security built. Although it is easy to understand that personal emails are easy for them to gain access to, it is quite alarming that email hacking also affects businesses and even government agencies no matter how tight they think their security is.
Email Hacking Controversies
Although higher security is often expected from people at high positions, hackers have proven time and again that no security measures could stop them. In 2008, Sarah Palin fell victim to a hacker who turned out to be the son of Memphis’s state representative Mike Kernell. David Kernell admitted to have hacked Palin’s email account to search for anything that could ruin her campaign.
In 2011, Rowenna Davis, a British author and Peckham councilor had her email account hacked, sending emails to all of her contacts persuading them to send money to a specific Western Union account. It took a few days before she regained access to her account.
In 2013, the email account of former President George W. Bush was also compromised. Photos and contact details of family members and close friends were stolen.
But what remains to be the biggest hacking incident through email is the controversy on the Climactic Research Unit, more popularly called as Climategate. In November of 2009, a server under the University of East Anglia’s Climactic Research Unit was compromised, with the hacker copying thousands of email correspondence to different locations. This happened a few weeks prior to the Copenhagen Summit, which centered on climate change. This incident caused issues springing left and right, with critics claiming that climate change and global warming were part of a conspiracy, and that scientists were manipulating data to cover the issue up.
Knowing that even famous people and big organizations could be hacked should not be reason for you to lose interest in security. Keep your passwords to yourself, and make them as complicated as possible to make it harder for other people to guess your password. The same thing goes for security questions or other additional measures that your email provider may have. Avoid sending sensitive data through email. If possible, send and keep these the traditional way. Be wary of suspicious emails that contain links for you to click on, regardless if it came from someone you know. Confirm with the sender first before clicking on anything to prevent email hacking.