Debate IT: Webmail: is your data safe?

Is webmail worth the risk?

The high profile hacking this week of US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account highlighted the potential security risks with free email accounts.

Presuming almost every Internet user has at least one personal email account with a free mail provider such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail, this is rather worrying for us all.

Some companies have decided that the economies of scale offered by services like Gmail are worth the risks. It allows them to have their email needs freely outsourced rather than maintaining their own in-house systems and servers.

The risk of this, as has been proven time and time again, is that it only takes a simple password recovery or session hijacking to have your email exposed to all.

So, do you trust free webmail? And would you trust it if you were (or are) in a position of high importance or that attracted to public scrutiny?

Has the Palin hack forced you to reconsider your use of free webmail?

Do you feel there are inherent security risks with free webmail? And does this bother you, or are you prepared to take the risks?

Finally, is there anything in your account worth hiding?

Tell us what you think...
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