Invading the Inbox

Full HTML E-Mail Design
Image by willvbcfc via Flickr

And you thought email was more secure than snail mail? Shame. When was the last time you received a letter in your mailbox that was already opened? Don’t misunderstand, though; there’s no doubt that it has happened before. Mailmen can be sneaky—not often, though. But the honest truth is this: it’s actually easier these days to literally hack into a person’s email than it is to raid someone’s mailbox on the corner. And the scary part: you don’t have to be an experienced hacker to do it!

A well-known watchdog group on the Internet has discovered the way to do it; and in all honesty, this method of email checking could actually benefit you, too, regarding viruses. Take note: the technique of invading the inbox doesn’t rely on any flaws within your standard email security system. All it takes is the knowledge of HTML to learn about who is sending you emails and what these people are saying in their own inbox. But they have to be something called HTML emails.

You know what I’m talking about: it’s all that spam email you get that looks like actual web pages in your inbox. The funny thing about that type of email is it can only be read with JavaScript. Pretty simple. All you have to do is right click on the body of the message and then click on the “open source” tab. What it does is literally show you where the email originated from, and if you know how to use HTML, hacking into someone’s email through JavaScript is a breeze.

Which is a scary thought. The most recent development regarding email privacy will actually be in a courtroom. Web marketers with knowledge of HTML and JavaScript know how to hide invisible tags within the source code of an HTML email that will allow them to know when the email has been opened. It’s basically like spying on someone opening the mail! Yes, indeed—scary stuff.