In 2005, the State Department decided that all sensitive and confidential government communications must transmit through authorized government servers. The Clintons began using a private email server in the basement of their Chappaqua, NY house in 2008. The email accounts connected to the servers would send and receive over 30,000 emails over the next several years. Although the physical location of the server changed several times, it retained the purpose of storing emails.
When classified emails started passing through the server late in 2009, proper security measures were not in place to keep the information well protected. Some experts believe that it would have been relatively easy to access those emails remotely if a person had the will to. During her time as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton also used an unencrypted BlackBerry against the strong recommendations of many tenured politicians.
In 2011, there was attempt made on hacking into the personal server located in Clinton’s home, and in June, Chinese hackers reportedly targeted the Gmail accounts of several government officials. From 2013-2014, repeated hacking attempts from China, South Korea, and Germany were made on the Clinton’s private server. In 2016, the FBI discovered that over 2,000 emails recovered from the Clinton’s server had classified information in them.
While it is unlikely that any of us are dealing with information as sensitive as what Hillary Clinton had been dealing with, there are some applicable takeaways from this controversy.
Source: Clinton Email Investigation Timeline – http://www.thompsontimeline.com/