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Is someone spying on your email?

With all of the news focusing on Edward Snowden leaking sensitive details, the NSA accessing public emails, hackers bringing down entire networks, celebrities having their private photos stolen from the Cloud and the fact that ‘Big Brother’ is supposedly watching us, it can be unnerving to think that someone could be looking at your emails right now. They could be reading sensitive information about your business that is not supposed to be made public or put you in a very precarious position.

When you think of it that way, it does seem quite scary, especially when it is estimated that 60% of an organizations’ intellectual property is kept within an email system.

Advanced spies can cover their tracks in ways you will often never notice. This is another reason why deleted emails are often a prime targets for cyber criminals. What makes it worse is that many businesses and individuals don’t even know they are already victims.

There are email encryption tools that you can purchase, but hackers are becoming increasingly more savvy so these aren’t as useful as they first appear. It is recommended practice that you have one in place, and having end-to-end encryption means that if your ISP or server gets hacked, your message usually can’t be accessed.  The problem with hosted email encryption services is that certain individuals can still find your data if they are motivated enough to do so. As the media has increasingly been telling us, we simply can’t be protected 100% of the time due the sheer number of online threats out there.

So what else can you do? Well, if you suspect that your emails are being spied on, you can try the following advice

Send yourself an email that contains a link to a dedicated webpage that you can monitor. A good idea is to disguise the link with a small URL or similar. Make the email as attractive as possible, then sit back and wait to see if anyone clicks on the link.

You may find out that you get more than one hit to this link. You need to also ensure that the website you are sending the ‘spy’ to is safe and doesn’t contain anything of value on it.