If I send an email on my work computer through Hotmail, will it be
picked up on the server that has been set up in the office to hold all
emails sent through on our “actual office computer emails’ via a paying
In other words can the email I’ve sent be read afterwards on the
office server or at the office’s service provider if it has been sent
The specific answer to the specific question you’re asking is:
But that doesn’t mean your email couldn’t be read by your company in
In which case the answer the question you’re really asking
is: yes, they might be able to read the mail you sent.
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When you send email using Hotmail, either through Hotmail’s web
interface, or when supported, through a mail program like Outlook or
Outlook Express, the mail is not sent using your company’s mail
servers. It’s sent directly to the Hotmail mail servers, and from there
it moves on to its final destination.
So your company’s mail servers are never involved.
But while that might give you some level of comfort, you shouldn’t
read too much into it. Your company could still be reading your
technologically. And that’s something you should be aware of.”
Before I throw out the possibilities, though, I want to make
something clear: I’m not saying that your company is reading your
email. In fact, it’s more likely that they are not. But they
could, both legally and technologically. And that’s something
you should be aware of.
When you use a computer at your work place, that computer belongs to
your company. They can do whatever they will with it. And that
includes, for example, installing spyware as either software or
hardware to monitor your activities. That spyware could easily be
logging every website you visit, every mouse movement you make and
every keystroke you type. Put that all together, and they could
absolutely track what you were typing as you composed a new email when
you visited Hotmail – or any email provider for that matter.
This includes the email you typed up but never sent.
What if you’re using your own computer? You have a little more
security, in that you can (and should) take absolute care to ensure
that your machine is protected, firewalled and spyware and virus free.
But that may still not be enough. For example it’s quite possible that
monitoring software can get installed as part of your corporate network
Even if your computer is clean, you’re still using your company’s
network, and your network traffic can be monitored. Unless you’re using
a secure connection via HTTPS or a secure email protocol, it’s trivial
for your company to record all data sent to and from your computer,
including any email you send.
If you use a secure connection you’ve made it a lot harder (though
actually not impossible in a corporate environment) to monitor your
If you’re truly concerned that you might be spied on, assume the
worst and take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.
If you want to send something that you don’t want your company to
see, you simply shouldn’t be doing it from their network or on their
equipment. Wait ’till you get home or are somewhere else using
equipment that your company has no control over.