There is an increase in awareness regarding the individual privacy of people using electronic mail in terms of expected exclusive access and account usage. This awareness stems from the fact that privacy protection of email is currently less well defined than other forms of communication. There also exists an illusion of privacy created by having a password to access ones' email accounts. The fact is that very few people have a good understanding about how computer networks and electronic mail actually work, and the options available to safeguard their electronic information.
Some of the typical email privacy problems arise from the technology itself. For example, if you send an email message to an individual, this mail can be seen by lots of people, starting with the system administrator of every machine your mail touches, plus anyone who has hacked those machines, plus anyone who is eavesdropping on any of the networks passed (there are many more ways for a hacker to get at it, too). They can get your IP from a mail header and using basic techniques learn your personal information or plan a hack attack. Also you should realize that many companies consider individual's email at work to be corporate property. Otherwise you learn how vulnerable your email is only when the employer catches you sending sensitive information or potentially embarrassing notes.