This is the first of a regular feature by Glynne MacLean, covering aspects and advantages of email and internet use. There will be a range of topics - if there are any specific areas you would like to see in the column, contact us here at CCS or email Glynne directly.
An issue to consider when using email is the privacy aspect.
When you send an email it goes from your PC to your provider (Clear, Actrix, Paradise etc.) then to their international gateway, then to the gateway of the country you are sending it to and so on. It is a multi-step process and at any step in the process your message can be read. Therefore it is important that you don't include in the main body of the email message anything that is very private or credit card and bank accounts numbers. Attachments can not be read but due to virus concerns many people will not accept attachments.
If I'm asked for credit card details by email, I usually ask for a postal address or a fax number and send them that way, but if you have to send credit card or bank account numbers by email split the information over a number of messages. That is, put half your credit card number in one message, the second half in another and the expiry date in a third and send them at intervals at least ten minutes apart.