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Data privacy: emails = postcards


Data privacy: emails = postcards
(Image: CERN)


Would you send your credit card details on a postcard? Probably not! It wouldn’t be secure as the postcard would, of course, pass through a number of hands before reaching its recipient and could be read by anyone.

Transmitting personal data by email may run similar risks depending on the mail client used by the recipient and their mail forwarding behaviours, an issue previously covered in the computer security article series (see Forwarding can spoil privacy or Email equals letters).

So, what’s the solution?

An easy way of reducing security risks with personal data is to use CERNBox, regardless of whether you’re sending data to recipients inside or outside CERN. Not familiar with CERNBox? Check out the CERNBox user manual and the related training course in the CERN Learning Hub.

As a reminder, CERN takes the processing of your personal data very seriously and applies the principles of its Data Privacy Protection Policy through Operational Circular no. 11, “The Processing of Personal Data at CERN”.


Download the poster of this awareness campaign on: https://cds.cern.ch/record/2826925/files/Email-Postcard%20Campaign.pdf.

More information on data privacy at CERN can be found on the ODP website or obtained from your Departmental Data Privacy Coordinator.