by Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
11/7/2007 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFPN) -- Global Internet Mail is a personal e-mail program available to all servicemembers that can be used from any computer with Internet access, including government systems.
While official government e-mail accounts are the most secure form of e-mail communication, messages sent between GI Mail accounts are more secure than those sent between public e-mail accounts.
"GI Mail offers an added layer of 'protection' to military service members and is the Department of Defense preferred alternative to commercial e-mail services," said Master Sgt. Jeffery Bricker, 52nd Fighter Wing Operations Security program manager.
Commercial e-mail services, such as yahoo, hotmail and AOL are outside of the DoD's control, and the confidentiality of forwarded e-mails cannot be guaranteed. GI Mail is the only DoD-approved morale Web mail service.
"These services are hosted on non-Air Force systems and could be compromised without the knowledge of military users," Sergeant Bricker said. "On the other hand, GI Mail offers similar services and functionality as commercial programs but with the advantage of being placed inside the government network behind a firewall at Scott Air Force Base, Ill."
GI mail is also available to spouses who are registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System.
"When deployed down range government computers can not be used to access yahoo, hotmail or AOL, so GI Mail is the perfect solution," Sergeant Bricker said. "Spouses are able to communicate on a much safer system and know it is much less likely that their e-mails are getting into the wrong hands."