Over the past couple of decades, email has become one of the world's leading communications mediums, perhaps even outpacing the telephone and traditional mail service.
Unfortunately, over this same time span, email has proven itself to be highly vulnerable to outside influences, including individuals and organizations that seek to cause some form of technological damage or hope to make money in an illegal fashion. As a result, security has become an increasingly important issue for all email users.
Although email security is often viewed as a single issue, it is actually a conglomeration of several different threats that work individually to damage computers and defraud recipients, as well as to undermine the effectiveness, reliability and trust of email systems. Email threats can be divided into several distinct categories:
Protecting email users and their systems from attackers is a 24/7 job that requires the use of multiple security tools:
Email threats will continue to exist for as long as there are people and organizations that thrive on the misery they inflict upon others. Therefore, the practices and tools that constitute email security are likely to exist for as long as email itself.
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