Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 126
get garbled, the sysadmin may be able to restore them. If you forget
your password, the sysadmin can do a "reset" and give you a new one.
A system administrator with any sense of ethics -- or even one who's
reasonably busy -- won't routinely read other people's mail. But it's not
a safe assumption that all
sysadmins are too honest or too overworked
to snoop.(Endnote #31)
privacy problem extends beyond nosy sysadmins. The technology
needed to automatically screen large volumes of email is widely available. (Endnote #32) Sometimes, as a matter of company policy, businesses routinely
screen employees' email. To make matters worse, agencies of the federal government can readily monitor vast quantities of email, automatically searching for key words.
Perhaps even more common than active
human error. Here
are some of the things that can happen:
- You accidentally send your note to the person about whom you
wrote unflattering things in the message. (Don't laugh, I've seen it
- The person who received your note forwards it to the person about
whom you wrote unflattering things. (I've seen this one too.)
- You accidentally send your message to an international mailing
list, rather than a private recipient. (Be careful when using the
"reply" feature in response to mailing list messages.)
- You save your racy email messages in a text file on your Mac.
Then, unthinking, you publish your Mac to the network as a server.
Any network cruiser who cares can now find out exactly what kind of underwear you think is sexy. (Again, I'm not making this up.)
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