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How Free Email is Monitored
How Free Email is Monitored
How Free Email is Monitored

Free email is an astounding example of the adage “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”  These services are not provided as a “gift” to consumers out of corporate generosity, but are used to know you to the greatest degree possible, and often better than you know yourself in many areas.  This information has great monetary value to corporations for advertising and marketing purposes.  It is also of great value to government entities.

The process works the same as basic email services.  Often many addition features are available to both inspire you to use a particular provider and also encourage you to divulge more information about you to the provider.

Even when only one party, either the sender or the recipient, uses a free email service the email is available to the service provider.

Step 1 As in basic email the sending computer connects to a Transmit (Tx) server.  In some cases the link is secured (https) to give the illusion that your email is private.  However this might prevent the viewing of your email during its travel between the sending computer and the Transmit server, it does arrive unencrypted and readable to the Transmit server.
Step 2 The journey between the Transmit and Receive servers is the same as basic email.
Step 3 As with the sender, the recipient may be using a secure connection (https) but the prying eyes already have the unencrypted email.

The free email servers can examine with whom you send and receive emails including those that you are the CC or BCC recipient.  For each email address the free email service provider can form a list of all emails sent or received, when they occurred, location information, and their content.

The content of your email is examined and with a growing amount of sophistication and vast quantities of information about you are being kept.  Early on it was simply building a list of words you used to flag for advertising purposes.  However, just as word processors have advanced in that they don’t just check spelling but now include grammar checking, your emails can be examined for concepts and ideas that are useful to the service provider or their customers.

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