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Emailing Pictures

Posted on 2006-07-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
This is probably a weird question but it's one that I need answered. I had someone tell me that they don't want pictures (jpg) attached to email and sent because they are afraid of someone (out there in cyberspace) intercepting it and using the pictures for personal amusement. What are the chances of this happening?

Thanks!!
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Question by:ronfast
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zephyr_hex (Megan) earned 2000 total points
ID: 17101378
when a picture is sent... it's sent as tiny packets across the internet.  those packets don't travel the same route, nor do they travel in order.  in order for someone to actually see the entire picture, they would have to intercept every single packet.  they can't do that while the packets are travelling across the internet.  it would be impossible.
they could listen on one of the hosts (the sender or the receiver).  if this is a web-based email client like gmail or yahoo, someone could hack the account and be intercepting the emails.  but i doubt copying a picture is a top priority for a hacker ... they are much more likely to go after something interesting like banking account or personal info.
if this is Outlook or some POP3 client, the emails sit on the server at your Internet Service Provider.  someone could hack that... but again, they aren't going to be looking for pictures.  they are more likely to go after something that could result in $.
also, someone could hack the computer of the sender or receiver and see all info that passes on either machine.  if that is the case, your friend has a lot more to worry about then someone seeing a picture.  everything on that computer would be viewable...so again, the hacker is going to go after things like passwords, banking info and personal info like social security numbers.
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