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Improve e-mail security for those important messages

By Kay Anders - 9th July 2000 - Back to News

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E-mail... the revolutionary communication system. The best way to keep up to date with your third cousin in England, your aunt in Bosnia, your friend in France... It seems perfect for all those personal messages. In business, however, e-mail can be deadly.

A big issue has arisen in light of the growing amount of e-mail interaction that is happening in businesses everyday. New policies are being drafted and new practices empowered daily as more and more companies are being landed with court cases about the transfer of material through e-mail.

The main problems seem to lie in two areas: People are gaining access to information they have no authorisation to see, and others are more candid or explicit by e-mail, making an e-mail archive extremely dangerous in the hands of the wrong person.

A foolproof solution to this kind of trouble remains hidden. However, there is a new product that may aid you in your efforts to keep some files more secure.

Called "Disappearing E-mail", this downloadable plug-in lets users set an expiration date on each e-mail they send. Once the expiry date is over the message becomes unreadable to the recipient.

Simple to install and more effective than the old method of Public Encryption Key, Disappearing E-mail puts an end to one of the biggest security risks, old data remaining in floatation - open to hackers.

It works by empowering the recipient to borrow the key code from the Disappearing server. It automatically deletes when the message has been read or the expiry date is up, deeming the message unreadable. Still, there is still a danger period during the time the recipient has access to the e-mail. During this time it can be forwarded or printed, and passed on to any number of people.

Disappearing E-mail is simply a back-up system. It provides a safety wall where one previously did not exist before. Still, it is not a perfect solution, so it is adviseable you stick to basic e-mail rules, and write your messages as though you expect a third party to intervene and read them.

How do you feel about lack of e-mail security? Have your say below.


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