Email eavesdropping is a big threat to sensitive data that is exchanged through emails. Today your email is just like an open postcard sent into the real world where anyone who can intercept can read the contents.
You will be surprised to know the security protocols of SMTP do nothing to protect data. Your email goes unprotected from your mail server to the destination mail server. The only way to keep your email communication safe is using email encryption. We are going to tell you how to keep your emails safe with email encryption solution.
Use Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME)
Multipurpose Internet email extension (MIME) is an extension of SMTP. It provides you the ability to send data like video, compressed files, images, applications as attachments. The MIME inserts header in the email and the email clients utilize the information provided by MIME to know which applications should be used to open attachments. MIME does not provide security to your emails, but S/MIME does.
S/MIME is a protocol that secures your mail by using digital signatures and encrypting the MIME attachments sent through the mail. The protocol provides security services like message authentication, message integrity and data security to emails. Email communication is secured by symmetric encryption. A public key algorithm is used for key exchange and digital signatures.
To use S/MIME, you will be required to get a digital ID from your organization’s administrator and install the S/MIME control on your computer.
Use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
PGP is another method for email encryption. It offers both symmetric and asymmetric encryption. In the symmetric encryption method, the email contents are encrypted using a symmetric algorithm. After the encryption of the message, the public key that was used to encrypt the message is also encrypted with the public key of the recipient. The encrypted message and the key are sent to the recipient.
At the receiving end, PGP will first decrypt the symmetric key with the private key provided by the recipient. The decrypted symmetric key is then used to decrypt the message in the email. To use PGP, you will be required to install a browser extension to get encryption on the fly.
Use TLS encryption service offered by Gmail
Gmail offers encryption of emails in transit using TLS protocol. TLS is the successor to SSL. When messages are sent from your Gmail account, they are encrypted using TLS protocol that ensures there is no eavesdropping or interception of your email when it is on route to the recipient’s inbox.
When you use TLS in Gmail, your incoming and outgoing messages are encrypted automatically. Sometimes, you may send an encrypted mail, but the email may not receive full protection of the TLS during transit because not all email services support TLS. If the receiver’s email service does not support TLS, the email encryption (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-email-encryption.htm) does not work as intended.
Use Email Encryption Software
One of the easy ways to encrypt your email communication is to use email encryption software. The sender is required to install the email encryption software while the receiver need not install the software. The encrypted mail can be viewed through the web console. Also the encryption method is compatible with most platforms, making things easy for the recipient.
Use Encryption Tools in Outlook
Microsoft Outlook offers you an easy way to encrypt email communication. You have a choice of encrypting a specific message or encrypt all outgoing messages. To encrypt single message, just go to Options and select encrypt message and attachments. To encrypt all outgoing messages, just go to Email security option and select encrypt contents and attachments of all outgoing messages.
Using Web Based Email Encryption Services
If you want to secure your email communication without much hassle, you can use web based email filtering and encryption solutions. These encryption solutions are installed between Internet gateway and your email server.
The encryption service provider ensures every mail that exits your email server is encrypted and the email remains protected until it reaches its intended recipient. Even in the event of email eavesdropping, there is no risk to the sensitive data in the email as it remains unreadable.
Do you use email encryption to keep your email communication safe?