Let’s use post cards as an analogy for information sent over and stored against the internet. The internet cuts your post card up into smaller pieces that are publicly identified, labelled and numbered as:

  • a post card type (eg. in internet terms an email, a document, a website)

  • from you (your IP address, which shows where you are on the internet),

  • to whom (their IP address, which shows where they are on the internet),

  • when it was sent; and,

  • what order the postcard should be stuck back together in at the other end.

Note: anyone can see this labelling no matter what security you put around it. It’s called metadata and helps attackers understand patterns to better target their victims. It also helps forensic experts to identify attackers in a breach.

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