No-Hassle Email Security for BeginnersPosted on 13th February 2019
Gmail may be the most popular email service, but this doesn’t mean it’s the safest. Many users suspected Google somehow tracked ewer activity and scanned their letters, and it turned to be true. In 2014, the company has issued an update with an attached statement that revealed their email-reading policies.
The note stated that automatically scanning user emails enabled the company to show you more specific target ads. Which, to our minds, is a pretty bad explanation of the sneaky policy. This practice was haltered only a few years ago. It’s also worth noting that users of G Suite – the commercial pack offered by Google – were never subjected to such practices.
But enough about Google and scary things – let’s talk about the good guys.
Encrypted Emails for Everyone
Encrypted emails are not created equal. While there are different ways of keeping your private data what it should be – private, the main goal is the same. Some services make your messages hard to find and access, while others offer a self-destruction timer to wipe the data off right away.
We praise the developers for being innovative, but currently, we choose to stick with the good old PGP encryption. All in all, it is called Pretty Good for something, right? Okay, jokes aside, let’s five into the world of highly encrypted and secure emails. Bring in your headlights, as we are going into the da-ark.
This Sweden-based service may look like a dinosaur from the Windows 95 era, but it’s a force to be reckoned with. With more than 4000 PGP encryption keys and diskless servers, CounterMail provides nearly impenetrable protection for your emails.
This service also the only one in the list that offers physical keys. This means you can download a physical key and store it on a USB for an extra security level. By doing so you ensure the protection of your data and that you will be the only person able to log in. If you need to send highly-secure emails on the go, CounterMail is made for you.
The only downside is that you won’t be able to access your inbox if you lose or forget the USB-dongle, and “Restore my password” won’t be able to help you with that. Oh, and the service falls on the expensive side – you’ll have to pay $29 for a six-month coverage.
This service is registered in Switzerland, which means you are in good hands from the beginning. The country is well known for its respect to users’ privacy. Your data is safe with them and no one can force the service to share it, unlike with the US-based services.
ProtonMail uses powerful end-to-end encryption to ensure the safety of your data. It was also designed as a zero access service, meaning that only you and the recipient of your message can access it. No one else, not even the service owners, have the technical capabilities to do so. It’s like producing an armored door with only two keys that match it.
ProtonMail also covers the case when your recipient doesn’t use an encrypted mail service, and we assume it will be for most of the cases unless you only talk to people concerned about their privacy. This service has you covered once again! You can choose to either send an unencrypted email or send an encrypted one with a link to your message. The recipient will need a code you shared privately to read it. Security!
Oh, and this service provides a free subscription as well, which we believe will be suitable for most users. More advanced plans start as low as $5 for true privacy excellence.
And we are in Germany now! Tutanota’s servers are based there, which means they have to abide by the recently introduced GDPR and overall quite tough privacy-related laws of the country. This is, of course, beneficial to the users. Considering the fact that Germany was labeled as one of the most secure countries in the EU regarding privacy, investing in Tutanota may be a smart decision.
The application is open-source and web-based, which means it’s available nearly on any device that can access the Internet and send emails. It uses end-to-end encryption to ensure maximum protection. Also, works for both users and non-users. The service is free, though you are allowed to use only one email address with a 1 GB storage. You can upgrade the storage capacity to 10 GB, 100 GB and 1 TB for 24 €, 120 € and 600 € subsequently.
The service also offers paid plans to cover all your needs. The service is quite flexible – i.e. you can purchase additional email aliases (additional accounts, in other words) without the need to purchase the Premium or Pro plan.
Don’t Skip on a Good VPN
Remember that an encrypted email service shouldn’t be your only tool in the security kit, but rather a helpful addition to other security services, such as a good VPN, a password manager and so on. Use VeePN to stay at the top of the privacy game of all times.
Have you used any of the services listed above? Share your opinion in the comments and help other users pick the best one!