Almost everything you do online, whether it's visiting a website, reading a blog, downloading music or sending e-mail, leaves a trail of personal data. Some of it remains on your computer; some is transmitted to third parties. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you can and should control who sees it. In the interest of protecting your privacy, we offer some tips.
1.Don't mix business and leisure.
Get an e-mail address for personal use. You have little privacy protection with company e-mail. Most businesses claim that it is their right and responsibility to monitor e-mail because it represents the company, uses company equipment and travels over the company network. You could argue the point, but getting a private e-mail address is much easier. Use your business address for company business only.
2.Use encryption software to transmit sensitive data.
Unless you encrypt your messages--essentially scrambling the data--your e-mail is no more private than a postcard. An easy-to-use encryption program you can download for free is PGP.
Sure, junk e-mail is a nuisance, but it's easier to get rid of than the paper kind--just hit the Delete key. If you reply to spam, asking to be removed from the list, it just confirms that your address is valid. You will soon be spammed and spammed again.
You can report spam to your Internet Service Provider or e-mail service. With Hotmail for instance, click on the Junk Mail button to mark the sender as unsafe and delete the message.
4.Remove old e-mail from your computer.
When you delete messages, they remain on your system. To permanently remove them, open the Deleted Mail folder, highlight the messages and delete them again (or use the Empty folder button). Some e-mail programs automatically empty deleted mail once you close the program.
Be aware that messages may still reside somewhere on your computer.
A trained technician may be able to recover them. Messages may also remain
on the mail server for some period of time and may be archived in file back-ups.