Email Privacy

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Tips to Protect Email Privacy

By nature all public and free email services are insecure. Email privacy is an issue that troubles email users when they need to send sensitive information. Yes, there are measures that large and medium-sized corporations take in ensuring that their email services are secure. They do this by getting their private email services developed and installed. You cannot imagine the defense forces or any sensitive government agency using Gmail or Outlook or any other free email service to send private emails.

Unless you take special precautions nothing that you send by free email service is secure. Yes, you can get an encryption application and encrypt your emails. But you then need to ask your email recipients to install the same services so that they can read your emails and respond to them.

Some businesses do use the popular free email services but with encryption. It’s a cheaper solution as they get the updates, virus attack securities implemented by the email service providers while at the same time their emails are encrypted.

People are not going to stop using Google and Microsoft’s free email services, but what they can do is to take measures to protect their email privacy.

Protecting Email Privacy

Here are listed some steps that you can take to protect email privacy. Read the email privacy policy before you sign-up for any email service.

Use a strong password

The first step that you should take while setting up your email account is to select a strong password. Most of the popular email services display an image which shows the strength of the password you have selected. Most want the password to contain a minimum of six characters. They also advise you to mix capital and lowercase letters with numeric and special characters.

Don’t use the following when creating a password:

  • Your name
  • Names of your family members or pets
  • Home address
  • Cell phone or home phone numbers
  • Names of favorite movies, celebrities, music groups, song titles
  • Common words.

Hackers are past masters at these tricks and use complex algorithms which include all this information when they try to crack an email account.

  • Write down your password in your good old hand written diary or note book and save it.
  • Don’t permit the search browser that you use to store your password. Hackers know how to access the browsers and retrieve the passwords.
  • Don’t disclose your login and password to anyone
  • When you use a public computer make sure to logout of your email account and delete the browsing history and cookies.
  • If you think your email has been hacked stop using it. Delete your email account.
  • Make it a habit to change passwords frequently.
  • If you get a notification from your email service provider; IGNORE IT. its false and a hacker wants to get hold of your information.
  • If you get a notification from your email service provider; IGNORE IT. its false and a hacker wants to get hold of your information.
  • Use encryption for sensitive emails.

These are some steps that you can take to protect your email account. Using encryption will require you and the email recipient to use the same encryption service. Don’t communicate this to the recipient via email. If a hacker is monitoring your email, he or she will know the encryption service you are using and will use the same to intercept and read your emails.

‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch, ’ and this adage holds true for free email services also. Yes, email service providers check your emails. Note your interests and target you with suitable ads. If you are interested in pets, don’t be surprised when you see pets’ ads appearing on your search browser. This information from your email and social media network is being used to sell you items of your address.

Secure Email Service Providers

Yes, there are secure email service providers, and the only difference between them and the free service providers is that you have to pay to use them. They offer to keep your emails safe from prying hackers and use an encryption service. Some of the best emails for privacy which are secure and encrypted email service providers are:

Mailfence: This email service provides end to end encryption and provides a key that you share with your mail recipients. You only have to exchange it once and not go through the rigmarole for every mail. If you don’t select ‘Secure and private email service’ it redirects you to Gmail.

ProtonMail: This is one of the most commended services and offers full privacy to users. Its servers are located in Switzerland so no government can forcibly intervene.

Tutanota: This is a free email service that provides end to end encryption. The recipient cannot read your mails unless you supply them the password. It is not a free service and is based in Berlin, Germany. It prevents access to your email account even if your password has been compromised.

Kolab Now: This service is also provided from servers based in Switzerland, and your email privacy is never compromised.

Countermail: This email service provider offers some unique features like a USB key. You cannot access your account unless you insert the USB key.

Checking you email privacy

If you have a website, then you must be having email accounts associated with them. These free email accounts are offered by the web hosting service provider. Now if you want to check the privacy of these website associated email accounts all you have to do is to visit on your browser. Click on ‘Browse More Tools’ and scroll down till you came to ‘Email Privacy.' Click on it and enter your website’s domain name. It will display the emails associated with the website and status of the email.

That’s all

Email privacy has no guarantees if you are using a free email service and don’t take measures to protect your private information. Encryption services protect your emails as does keeping your login and password secret. If you exchange this information over any media, you shouldn’t scream if your emails are misused.

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