What happens when you send an email

Check out this video from SciShow which goes some way to explaining how an email gets from your computer to another.

Emails get routed through a series of computers to reach it’s destination.  It’s not a direct connection from your computer to another. That’s important to all email users because it means:

Privacy  –  any of those computers can make a copy of your message (unless it’s encrypted).  That copy can go to a hacker, criminal, the company running the computer or a government.  Just one reason why you should NEVER put a password, credit card or other personal details in a plain text email.

Spam filtering – emails go through one or more spam filters before reaching the destination.  The video mentions the difficulties in figuring out if a message is spam or not. It doesn’t mention the problem of genuine messages being wrongly stopped as spam.

The video talks about email message headers, we’ve talked about a nifty tool to analyze an email header.

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