The MBA Guide to IT

Episode 29 - Why is email so unsafe?

It’s Friday.  Time for another question.  What makes email so unsafe?

Good question.

When email was invented, it was primarily between academics and the whole system was more or less based on trust.

Back then, email was like a post card.  On a post card, you write the message on the back.  Everyone along the way who handles the post card can read what’s on it.  There’s no secrecy.  Why should there be?  [Having fun at the Louvre.  Wish you were here.  Why do all the paintings show a dog under the table?]

On a post card, you also put your return address.  Or somebody else’s return address.  Who would lie about something like that?

TRUE STORY – Back in the 1980’s, I decided to get braces as an adult.  The orthodontist made you fill out a reminder card which they would mail to your house.  So, I wrote “Carter Edmonds, King of All Shandon” which is the neighborhood where I lived.  The dental techs got a big laugh.  But I digress.

So, you would think with all the spooky math we have today, we’d be able to create messages that prove who sent them and protect what’s in them.  We can.  But not everyone uses it.  The email people are worried about losing people’s email, so they deliver everything and let you sort it out.

Now, if you have a good IT department, they’ve set something up to trap all of this.  Or most of this.  Okay, well, a lot of it anyway.

I’m Carter Edmonds with 20Creek.  We solve IT challenges.

Episode #29 – 1/18/2019

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