These days, a lot of communication is done through sending and receiving emails. Some information you send out may contain sensitive data. Wrongdoers want access to your data and they can easily do so by taking a peak at your email once you send it out. Remember, unencrypted emails are easy for people with the right training to read, and if they get their hands on your information, your accounts may be hijacked. This is why encrypting your email is important regardless of whether you deal with sensitive information or not. There are different ways on how to encrypt your email depending on where or how you check it.
Encryption for Different Ways of Accessing Emails
• Check for SSL/TSL encryption on your web browser. Before sending out any emails through the web-based email program of your preference, take a look at the address bar and confirm that they are using the https address instead of the usual http. Don’t forget to check this especially if you are using an unsecure connection like public Wi-Fi hotspots. If you don’t see the secured https address, simply type the additional s after the http and see if that leads you to the encrypted address.
• Change the settings of desktop client programs to enable encryption. Desktop client programs like Microsoft Outlook have the option to encrypt your emails if you go to the settings menu, search for the Advanced tab, and check the option to require encrypted connection. Similarly, if you are using an email app on your smartphone or tablet, head over to the Advanced or Security settings and see if there is an option to encrypt your data.
• Encrypt existing emails on your mail app. Even existing emails can also be encrypted on your mail app by encrypting the entire drive where your emails are stored or by adding a layer of protection through third party apps that offer encryption services. Windows PC owners using the Outlook software can choose to manually encrypt their emails by right-clicking on the .pst file on their computer and going to Properties, then to Advanced, and choosing Encrypt contents to secure data.
• Encrypt new emails. Start learning how to encrypt your email with open source and commercial applications created specifically for encryption and decryption. Different encryption software work differently. Some of them require installation and a public key that you need to give out to the people you send emails to, while others use the convenience of SMS messages to provide the password used to decrypt the email.
For your own peace of mind, and for the security of all your information, whether they may be relevant or not, you should consider encryption. This added protection will make everything you send unreadable to the prying eyes of strangers who want to access your accounts. It is best to remember that different channels used to access emails may use different encryptions, so make sure that you are covered on all bases. Your desktop application should be encrypted as well as your mobile app. Leave no weak spots.
Are you already using email encryption? What are the encryption types that you use and what do you prefer? Share your thoughts and suggestions with others!