Journalists and human rights activists have used encrypted email services for years to ensure that their confidential messages are not tracked. However, with more and more internet threats appearing and the risk of hacking becoming more prominent, email encryption is now essential for everyone.
So, what is email encryption, and how exactly does it work? Read on to learn everything about this security software.
Encryption is an advanced process that effectively hides data by transforming it into indecipherable code (from plaintext to ciphertext). Militaries, governments, and businesses use encryption to protect their documents, networks, and infrastructure. Even individuals can enjoy encryption on apps like WhatsApp and online if they use a VPN.
Email encryption is when an encryption method is applied to your emails so that only you and the recipient they are intended for can see them. The messages you send and receive will be encrypted and decrypted using public and private keys. Other data such as your email subject lines, attached documents, and contact lists will remain hidden to third parties.
Email encryption may not seem necessary, but it is as vital as using antivirus or VPN software. Here’s why you should use email encryption:
Did you know that popular email services like Gmail and Apple Mail can view your messages and store sensitive data on their networks? Not many people are aware of this fact, but it explains why you’ll get personalized ads appearing in certain tabs of your email inbox every so often.
Encrypted email services, like ProtonVPN, cannot read or intercept your messages. These services are designed in a way to safeguard user privacy. The zero-knowledge infrastructure that most encrypted email services employ ensures that they can’t access your account or read your messages.
The most commonly used email encryption services are ProtonMail, Tutanota, and Hushmail. All three of these services offer end-to-end encryption and extra additional features.
ProtonMail is based in Switzerland and therefore enjoys privacy-friendly FDA laws which ensure user data is not shared with the government (unless requested). Moreover, customers of ProtonMail’s visionary plan can enjoy its VPN service at no extra cost.
Tutanota is the longest-running encrypted email service and even encrypts users’ contact lists and calendar appointments. It is based in Germany and also extends privacy-friendly laws enjoyed by the jurisdiction to users.
Hushmail offers not only encrypted email services but also web forms and e-signatures. It is one of the most popular encrypted email services for healthcare professionals.