Inside Scoop: Tips for sending secure e-mailsIn this Inside Scoop, CNET's Kara Tsuboi and Seth Rosenblatt discuss some steps you can take to ensure your e-mail is anonymous and untraceable. For example, consider getting an e-mail address that doesn't use your name, and try sending your messages...
-I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com. Welcome to the Inside Scoop. My guest today is Senior Editor Seth Rosenblatt. -Hi, Kara. -Hi, Seth. A lot of news recently-- -Yes. -About affairs and other improprieties coming over email. -Yes. -Yes. -We should all thank former General Petraeus for that. -Exactly. Alright. So let's say that one of our viewers wants to have affair, sent some covert information-- -Sure. -Give us some tips on how to keep your business a little more private. -Okay. Well, let's start with the basics. So there are things you can do that don't involve very technical solutions. -Okay. -You can go to a cafÃ© that has free WiFi that's not near your home, office, or the hotel you're staying at. -Yes. -That doesn't actually mask your IP address or anything technical, but it separates you from the places that you usually go to. -Harder to trace that back to you specifically. -Absolutely. -Okay. -Another very easy solution is to set up an email account that does not have your name attached to it, that does not have any personal identifying information in it, and does not contain anything in the subject headings of the emails you send from that account. -Just don't make it so obvious then. -Exactly. Be smart. -Yes. Okay, so what about some more complex or techie solutions that are harder to trace? -Sure. One thing you can do is a program called Hotspot Shield which will mask your IP and change it to a different IP address so that the internet address that you're sending the email from is not the actual one that you're using. It routes it through a different one. You can also get a VPN and make sure again that you're using one that is known for having good privacy protections. -And that can't ultimately be traced back to you? -Only if the government subpoenas the information from that company. And again there's another service called TOR which has been around for a very long time which will create layers and hide your activity. The problem with what happened to Petraeus is that the emails the government has access to without a subpoena for up to 180 days, so you'd think that the director of the CIA would be smarter than that, but you'd be wrong. -Right. The bottom line I guess is, you know, keep your nose clean, don't get into this kind of messy business. -Exactly. -Digitally or electronically. -Absolutely. At the end of the day, if you really wanna send a secure message, carry your pigeon I think is the way to go. -Yes, probably the safest. I mean maybe even old-fashioned postcard or letter could even be better than sending an email. -Absolutely. I think at the end of the day, an email is less like a secure letter with a seal and a stamp and all of that, and it's more like a postcard. If you have the technical know-how, you can just flip it over and read it. -Yes. Sadly I don't think this is going to be the last time we talked about-- -Probably not. -Business being exposed through email. -Probably not. -Thank you so much, Seth Rosenblatt. -No problem. -I'm Kara Tsuboi. Thanks for watching the Inside Scoop.