EN­CRYPT YOUR EMAIL

TechLife Australia - - SUPER GUIDE -

MAKE SURE YOUR EMAIL PROVIDER SUP­PORTS SE­CURE METH­ODS FOR SEND­ING AND RE­CEIV­ING EMAIL.

For web­mail providers, that means en­sur­ing you’re al­ways log­ging on through https:// to pre­vent your pass­word be­ing sniffed out by hack­ers. In the case of ma­jor providers such as Google, this should now be the de­fault, but also look for other ways in which to pro­tect your ac­count — see the ‘Pro­tect On­line Ac­counts’ box over the page.

If you use a tra­di­tional email ac­count, check with your provider that it sup­ports SSL, the pro­to­col that es­tab­lishes a se­cure con­nec­tion, and ver­ify you’re us­ing those set­tings in your email pro­gram to send and re­ceive mes­sages. This en­sures that your user­name and pass­word are en­crypted when sent to or from the server.

As things stand, how­ever, the con­tent of your email isn’t en­crypted dur­ing tran­sit, and is eas­ily read­able. If your mail provider sup­ports TLS, it’s pos­si­ble to en­crypt emails you send to and re­ceive from other email providers that they also sup­port TLS. Tak­ing Gmail as an ex­am­ple, the fea­ture is en­abled by de­fault, but look for an open red pad­lock when com­pos­ing emails — this in­di­cates that the re­ceiver doesn’t sup­port TLS, so the con­ver­sa­tion won’t be en­crypted. Check with your email provider to see if TLS is sup­ported, and what set­tings you need to ap­ply in your client app, and check to see if it’s able to make it clear which con­ver­sa­tions are en­crypted and which aren’t.

If you want to go fur­ther (with co-oper­a­tion from other in­di­vid­u­als), look at im­ple­ment­ing PGP mail en­cryp­tion. This en­crypts the mail be­fore it’s sent, and then the re­cip­i­ent uses PGP at their end to de­crypt the mail once it ar­rives. Wizards make it rel­a­tively easy to set up, but Google your email client (or web­mail provider) and ‘pgp’ to find out more.

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