- Security. Modern email clients support "attachments" which are foreign (to the emailer) data files, multimedia files or executables. Such files are converted to ASCII, attached to email, transmitted and converted back again by the receiving client. Of course, the problem is with the binary, executable files which are transmitted. Therein is a fairly significant security hole and a potential source for a new wave of computer viruses. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- The Right to Privacy. The email privacy issue came to light around in the mid-1990's when employees began to discover that their email was being read by employers. In one case, when an employee of Pillsbury sent what he thought was a private email communication to a co-worker labeling Pillsbury as "back-stabbing bastards," it got him fired for "inappropriate and unprofessional comments." [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Impersonation is easy. As some unfortunate netizens already have, you may learn from a sudden flood of hate mail that somebody has sent a piece of offensive junk e-mail to a million different people, giving your address as the origin. Only a small number of Internet users are capable of deciphering message headers to the point where they can identify the culprit's IP address, which is seldom enough to catch the individual anyway.
- AOL states that clicking on links in junk email is dangerous. Is that so? If so, then why is it any safer to do a copy of the link and get out and feed it into your browser?