Friday, 29 April 2016

What is Email Encryption

As the technology to communication continues to advance, people are getting more and more hyped up about security.

They seek securing their accounts with complicated, hard-to-crack passwords as well as find a better antivirus software to protect their devices. Every security company or antivirus software vendor will introduce you to a new threat that may hinder your online presence and make your data vulnerable to hacking. With more and more communication carried out over the email, one is fearful of their sensitive information being picked up by people with malicious intent.

This is where email encryption comes in by protecting information you send from eavesdroppers. When you send an email normally, it is just like writing a postcard. Anyone who picks up you card on the way can read it. Whereas, an encrypted email is just like a letter in a sealed envelope only the receiver can open.

So what is Email encryption? Let’s find out more.

What Does One Mean by Email Encryption?

Email encryption is protecting email messages using encryption so that the intended party or parties can only read the information send. No other entity can access the information sent. One can even add a feature of authentication within email encryption.

A normally mailed email is vulnerable to be intercepted and can lead to disclosure of information. There are certain tools that helps hackers read these mails and collect sensitive information. Many companies sharing sensitive data over email or journalists, etc. use email encryption to protect their emails.

How Does Email Encryption Work?

Encryption of an email means the information is scrambled and only a cryptographic key can help unencrypt it. One should encrypt three things:
  • The connection from the email provider
  • The email message
  • Stored, cached or archived email messages
There are different types of technology tools that help in encrypting emails. Some of these tools include:

Personal email certificate that helps protecting emails by digitally signing messages. This helps reduce the number of spam messages sent using your name and email account. Authentic messages will contain your digital signature, whereas bogus emails will lack this authentication.

Public Key Infrastructure or PKI is a combination of private key that is known just to you and a public key. All those you choose to distribute it or even made public know the public key. When you encrypt a mail, you will enter the public key. When the email needs to accessed by the intended recipient, he/she needs to enter the private key to decrypt the message into a readable format. Anyone can use a public key to encrypt his or her messages, but only a private key can help unencrypt the message.

Thus, not just your sensitive information such as your bank account details, login credentials, etc. need to be encrypted, but also your personal emails should be encrypted. Sending private photos, videos or sharing personal information can also be hacked and used against you. Thus, to prevent unauthorized access to an email account, email encryption is the best option.