Most of the emails you send literally travel through mountains and valleys: they travel great distances, cross many networks, some secure, some not, some supervised, others totally out of control, and leave copies. Themselves on servers located all over the Internet.
Clearly, anyone with access to one of these servers, or to one of the networks through which your emails pass, can read your conversations effortlessly.
In this introductory chapter, we’ll find out where an email you send goes before it reaches your recipient, what the problems and risks this poses, and why it’s so important to be able to protect yourself against it. From Mensajera privada you can have the best deal.
The flow of an email
Sending an e-mail is child’s play today. You use your favorite software, you enter a title, a text, a recipient and presto! A simple click on the “Send” button is literally like posting a letter to the post office.
Yes, but how does it work exactly? We will briefly look at what happens just after this famous click, keeping the analogy of sending a letter:
Your e-mail will go to a server of your access provider (La Poste, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.), via a protocol called SMTP. It is a bit like the carrier that will deliver your letter from the post office to the postal sorting center.
This server will then locate your recipient, and calculate the shortest path to send your message to him. It is the equivalent of the sorting center.
- Your message will, after a more or less long succession of bounces on intermediate servers, arrive on the server of your recipient’s access provider. It is the same principle as for a letter, which will pass through one or more postal centers before arriving at the destination agency, to be finally deposited by a postman in the recipient’s mailbox.
- Your recipient will just have to go there to collect your message, just as he would open his mailbox to receive your letter.
- For information, the message is then received either via the POP protocol or via the IMAP protocol.
That’s all that goes on behind the scenes when you send an email. Everything happens very quickly and in general, no matter where your recipient is located, it only takes a few seconds to a few minutes for your message to be delivered. It’s still a bit faster.
What are the risks?
It all sounds pretty harmless, doesn’t it? Well think again: in this very short period of time, a lot has happened! You didn’t realize it, but you just lost all control over your message.
From your first click, your message was copied to your service provider’s server. Then, your message passed through several servers, and circulated on several networks, sometimes even passing through several countries and on each of these servers, a new copy of your message was made.
A copy of your message is therefore potentially present on each of the servers through which it has traveled. Not to mention the copies, you have no idea where your message went to end up with your recipient.