Today’s New York Times has an article on the risks of wi-fi hackers; the article makes reference to new readily-available software that apparently makes it easy to eavesdrop on the communications of others in non-secure wireless networks.
Everyone should be concerned about this and govern themselves accordingly when using unsecured wireless access, but we also remind our clients and friends not to assume that any email can be assured to be confidential and privileged.
And hackers are not the only threat.
In addition to hackers, there’s the very real risk of an inadvertent inclusion of an unintended recipient, or a misspelled address, or a snoopy business colleague, spouse or other family member who has access to the computer on the other end.
And, of course, email will be accessible and potentially discoverable on your computer in the event of litigation. While truly privileged attorney-client communications are probably protectable, the presence of the confidential emails on your computer will increase the costs of discovery review and production, and the risk of inadvertent disclosure.