As innocent as it seems, sending simple email communications can open you up to serious vulnerabilities. Unsecured emails, or those sent across public and Wi-Fi networks, are susceptible to hackers. Unethical types can even circumvent the protective walls of a secure company network. This is why email encryption is so important.
Once a hacker gains access to an email, private data is compromised. This frequently happens while emails are in route from one account to another in cyberspace. Once they’ve intercepted an email, they have an open door into your personal data. The only guarantee against hackers stealing your sensitive information via an email is to use email encryption.
Email Encryption Defined
To encrypt an email means to follow a series of coding steps. Encrypting an email guarantees nothing within the email is readable, even if when intercepted during delivery.
It protects all the content, as well as the personal information attached to the sender and intended recipients. Encryption actually dates back to ancient times when the Greeks and Romans used secret letters to disguise messages.
Just like the ancient theory, emails are written using a secret key that must be known to read the email. The contents of the email are unreadable as the message travels from the starting point to its final destination without this secret key.
This means that even when an unethical hacker intercepts an email, the email encryption makes them not understand what the message says. It’s akin to turning all your delivered content to a sand script.
How to Easily Encrypt Your Emails
The concept behind email encryption is to disguise the content of the message. Any unauthorized viewer will not be able to interpret anything within the message. Attachments can be encrypted, sender and recipient information disguised and most importantly, the content rendered unreadable. Here is how to easily encrypt an email message.
1. Objective – Hide Everything
The first thing to consider is the old adage, which asserts that if you have nothing to hide, then why you should hide anything. As mentioned early, hackers really don’t care that much about what is written in the actual email letter, but who sent it, plus everyone who received it.
By entering into the chain, they now dig for what they want; information that helps accomplish their deceptive agenda. When you use email encryption, you essentially hide everything.
2. Use an Email Certificate or Software
One simple way to implement email encryption is to download a certificate from a website that offers preset encryption codes. This type encryption is commonly referred to as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP).
That is exactly what it is, pretty good encryption. While it is very simple and an excellent choice to encrypt emails while away from the main computer station, they do cost and are not as full proof as Email Encryption End-to-End.
You can also purchase software programs that apply encryption automatically to all of your communications. There are a number of reputable encryption software choices, which offer various levels of encryption and user-friendly tools.
3. Email Encryption End-to-End
Using EEE, or Email Encryption End-to-End the user doesn’t even have to be online. It is a self-run system that is the fullest proof way to eliminate all outside possibility of uncovering your secret code.
You first compose your document. It can be a file of any kind. The simplest way is to enter your data into report form, (as much as 60 KB of data).
#2. Open Email Encryption End-to-End
Open EEE and point to the location of the file. This works best in an Excel file since spreadsheet data is the most commonly encrypted type of information.
#3. Point to Location
Input the location and the name of the file that you want to encrypt. This will open a ciphertext file that has a zip file extension.
#4. Select a Phrase
Pick a phrase, the more confusing, the better, as your encryption key. Follow much of the same theory as you follow to create strong passwords. Hit the encrypt button to begin encryption.
#5. Encryption Process
EEE will now encrypt whatever file or files you have chosen. The data will be written into a ciphertext file.
#6. Log in to Email Account
Next, you will go online and log in to your webmail account. To be extra tricky, compose a senseless message if you like, to further confuse hackers. Indicate to the recipients that there is a zip file containing the information.
#7. Attach Ciphertext File and Send
Attach the ciphertext file that you have encrypted and send it to all intended recipients.
#8. Recipient Receives
The person or persons receiving the email will open the ciphertext file and save it to a document file. They will run their own EEE program using the same key phrase you used to encrypt the email.
All the recipients need to do is hit the decrypt button, and the information will become readable instantly.
The recipients of encrypted email messages using the EEE system can view any type of data file, videos, pictures, or just a simple text document copy of an email with sensitive information.
Email certificates to encrypt a communication are great if you only feel a need to periodically use email encryption. However, for those who want to truly keep all of their email communications secure, Email Encryption End-to-End is a far more secure alternative.
Why Should You Use Encrypt Emails?
You may mistakenly assume that only people who send sensitive information need to worry about encrypting an email. This is not true; because once a hacker gains access to any data in an email, they are talented enough to dig deeper using any minute detail.
Once a hacker intercepts a message, they are able to uncover social security numbers, usernames, and passwords, plus bank account numbers.
They get to this sensitive information a number of ways, and they are relentless. Hackers can obtain illegal entry into an email account where they can scan attachments, the content of every email on file, or even take possession of the entire email account.
When they take over an account, they can send spyware and viruses to any content listed in the account. The recipient will think it came from you and the malware spreads.
People who use email for only personal communications still should consider email encryption for anything that might contain personal data. Business communications should consider it essential. While it’s unfortunate that there are individuals who live under a low moral compass and find stealing on the Internet acceptable, the fact is they are there.
An email that is not encrypted is like leaving the door to your home unlocked for unwelcome intruders. To prevent unwelcome access to your email communications, apply these simple steps to secure both your personal information and the data of all your email contacts.