Is the internet monitored, or is it just hanging out there without anyone looking over it? That’s a very good question. The fact is that no one is looking over the internet in a supervisory kind of way aside from governments that may create legislation that has an influence in some way. It is up to individuals, companies, and other entities to monitor their use of the internet and the communications that occur via email, chat, and messenger programs.But what about government monitoring that isn’t supervisory? It is said that the NSA monitors certain types of data to identify terrorists. This means that certain buzzwords could cause them to monitor your email communications or conversations in a messenger program.If you want to get very technical, internet activity can be monitored as captured data travels to its destination. These packets of information are broken up into parts so that the data is sent in small pieces. These small pieces of information are routed through computers and reassembled when they reach their destination. The destination is your computer screen, and the information can be a website, message, image, or email. The infrastructure is complicated because of the electronic systems that are in place to keep the world connected, but there are many doors inside these systems that allow information to be intercepted by silent intruders.Taking Responsibility for Internet MonitoringIndividuals and businesses are responsible for monitoring what happens on their computers. Large companies like Facebook must monitor what occurs on their servers, just as a web host has to monitor what occurs on its servers. Everyone has a role to play. Even governments have their roles in how they regulate the internet. It is a giant puzzle that seems to fit together well until an intruder plants a virus on a computer and intercepts personal information or a surveillance entity starts monitoring activity.Email is one of the most commonly breached areas. Receive an email contaminated with a virus in an attachment, open the attachment, and a back door has been opened for a hacker to see everything in your inbox. The virus may also email itself to your contact list so it can spread itself around.Is Your Communication Secure?The thought of a virus emailing your contacts or hanging out on your computer without you knowing it is scary. What’s more disturbing is the thought of an unauthorized person reading your personal or business emails. Even if you see in the address bar of your browser that the email service you are using has a security certificate, that doesn’t mean it can’t be breached.When using an email provider, you must make sure you are using a service that takes every precaution to ensure all email accounts on its servers are secure. It’s not enough for an email service to have just a security certificate anymore. You need a lot more than that. You need full encryption.Encrypted email services give you that full encryption, so all your email communications are protected. You don’t have to worry about your email being monitored without your knowledge and personal details being compromised. So, start using encryption for your communications and make sure your online data is secure and protected.
About the Author: Ivana Stojanova is the Online Marketing Specialist at Secure Swiss Data, an encrypted email service, hosted in Switzerland. You can connect with her and the Secure Swiss Data Team on Twitter, via email, or by visiting Secure Swiss Data’s website.Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.