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Is it possible for my employer to read my email in this instance?


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#1
diggeryo

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The company I work for was recently bought out by a larger company. My company still exists, but now it "answers to" this parent company. Prior to the take over, my company owned its own domain (let's call it X.com) and had its email hosted by an email hosting company. Our ISP in my office is Comcast.

Let me first say that I am NOT worried about my employer having access to my Internet connection and snooping on where I surf. I am speaking strickly about my email. So let's assume they do not have access to my Internet connection.

This past week, the new parent company switched my company's emails to be hosted on their server. They had me call up our email hosting company and have them change the MX Record for mail.X.com to point to their servers.

To me, this would mean they would now have the ability to read all of our incoming emails. First, am I correct on that?

Second: currently, I have my outgoing mail server in Thunderbird on my work computer set to use mail.X.com. So would that mean that they could read all OUTGOING emails as well?

If the answer to that is yes, then another question. I have my personal email set up in Thunderbird on my work computer. It, as well, sends outbound emails through the mail.X.com server. So would that mean they would be able to read outbound email from my personal account (when it is sent on my work computer)?

If the answer to that is yes, would you agree, then, that if I set my outbound mail server on my work computer to Comcast's server rather than mail.X.com, then my company would NOT be able to read any of my outbound email, whether it's the work or personal account? The only thing they would be able to read is any email I reciece to my work account.

Is all this correct? Some of it? None of it?

Thanks for any input,
mike.
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#2
Johanna

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It doesn't matter about all those complicated email scenarios, because if they control the network, they can see it all. Every word, pic, site you visit etc.
Johanna
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#3
diggeryo

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It doesn't matter about all those complicated email scenarios, because if they control the network, they can see it all. Every word, pic, site you visit etc.
Johanna


Johanna--thanks for the reply. But that's why I said I'm not concerned about my employer having access to my network. I am speaking strickly about my email.
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#4
Neil Jones

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Anything that goes through a company network theoretically can be logged by it.
Indeed some company IT policies do not agree with the idea of personal mail in a work environment so the servers it goes through are realistically irrelevant.
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#5
dsenette

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everything is correct....to a point. as previously stated...if you're transmitting data on THEIR network (i.e. the wires that they now own) then they CAN in fact see everything you do (and it's their right to do so)
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#6
diggeryo

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Thanks for all the replies and the helpful information.

To put everyone's mind at ease, since everyone keeps mentioning if my company has access to my network, they will have access to everything: I know for a fact my new company does NOT have access to my network or my Internet connection. However, our email is now hosted on their servers; hence, all these questions.
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#7
dmguitar0

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answering the subject - yes, and you have the right idea on how to get around it, i think..

They had me call up our email hosting company and have them change the MX Record for mail.X.com to point to their servers.


I think after this was done, the answer to your questions is no unless you point TO that mx record.

So if you take the steps you have described to set it to Comcast for example..then nothing passes through their servers, and its actually from and to comcast's servers for those emails while the @blah.com portion of the email account is set to @mail.x.com; this would not seem to make sense but hopefully that will allow your email accounts to remain functional despite the inconsistency.
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#8
diggeryo

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Thank you, thank you, thank you, dmguitar0. Unless I'm not understanding something correctly--which is quite possible, since I'm not a network guy--no else seemed to want to answer my actual question pertaining to only email (and not the company network). I appreicate your taking the time to answer my actual question.
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#9
dsenette

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actually...the rest of us did answer your question...you're just not looking at the big picture

you're on a corporate network...which means you have to abide by corporate policy while you're on that network...i assure you that the new company WILL have access to the local network and they WILL have the ability to monitor it (maybe they won't do it in such a way as to monitor it from THEIR network but your IT group works for them now....so they will be watching the network)...so if your new company CHOOSES to see if you're using outside mail (which they really should do, as you using personal mail at work is a HUGE security issue) then they will be able to tell if you're doing that, and if they really want to, they CAN read the traffic between your machine and the comcast network, and if they want to that can include interception and reading of your email
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#10
diggeryo

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dsenette--

I appreciate the reply. And I'm really not trying to "start with you," because I do appreicate the time everyone at G2G takes to answer questions and help out. I am just disagreeing with you.

No, prior to dmguitar0, no one answered my question. Perhaps you guys answered what you THOUGHT I was asking. But not what I was actually asking.

I never said I was on a corporate network, though I guess the answer to that depends upon what you definition of "corporate network" is. I am on a network, but only those at my physical location have access to this network; no one in the "parent company" has access to it.

As a matter of fact, in my three prior replies, I stated that this parent company does NOT have access to my network or Internet connection. So I am not worried about them snooping on me that way. The only thing they have access to is that our email is hosted on their servers.

How do I know this? Because I am our IT department. I am by no means a knowledgeable "network guy," but I am the person that set up our (basic) network and Internet connection here. I am the one that knows the passwords to our routers. I am the one who's name is on file with Comcast, so if anyone else in the company wants to make changes to our network or with our ISP, they have to come through me first. So I am not worried about that. I am worried ONLY about my email since it is hosted on the new company's servers.

Granted, all of this might change in the future. But as of right now, they do not have access to our networks.
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