3 ways to keep your emails private

In a shocking recent news story, CIA Director David Petraeus stepped down from his position after an FBI investigation revealed his extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. The information was actually obtained indirectly by using location data from Gmail.

Everything we do online is linked in some fashion, but there are ways to keep your communications untraceable. I found this shocking article, How CIA Director David Petraeus’ Emails Were Traced (and How to Protect Yourself), and I knew I had to share it with you. I think you’ll find it very interesting.


If you want to keep your communications private, it’s important to learn about the lapses in security that can make public what you think is private. Three tips for keeping your emails private and untraceable are:

  • Hide your IP address. A VPN (virtual private network) service such as Hamachi will work on its own, assuming it does not give up your IP address, but added security is web proxy Privoxy. It’s important to use the VPN every time you log into your email for this to work.
  • Use disposable email addresses on both ends of the conversation. These addresses self-destruct after an email is read. Another option is to make sure you don’t use the same provider to send email messages that you don’t want linked. That’s what got Paula Broadwell in trouble.
  • Keep all of your private stuff offline. If privacy is crucial, don’t put the information in an email. Stick with text messages.

Have you ever used any of those three methods for keeping your communications private? How have they worked out for you? What other strategies do you employ to keep your emails from being traced? Hope to hear from you about this.


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