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What Are the Most Secure Email Providers?

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Email is one of those things we simply take for granted – it’s so easy to set up and access a Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook account that most of us never think twice about it. But in this age of increasing surveillance and dwindling privacy protections, your free email account could be the weakest link in your web security fence.

Thankfully, many companies have started offering secure email services to address this problem, enabling you to put your privacy first whether you’re organizing meetings, receiving order confirmations or sending photos to Grandma.

So what are the most secure email providers and what sets them apart from your typical email provider? From ProtonMail’s end-to-end encryption to CounterMail’s USB key authentication, these providers go above and beyond to keep their users safe.

We’ll take a close look at each of the top secure email providers so you can pick the one that’s right for you – but first, let’s learn a bit more about email security and find out why these services are so necessary to begin with.

You’ve Got Malice: How Your Email Could Be Compromised

Most of us know to follow a few basic email safety tips that protect us from the most egregious threats: don’t open attachments from unfamiliar senders, don’t send any passwords through email and always check URLs before clicking them so you don’t get phished. And no, nothing good will come from communicating with that UN ambassador or Nigerian prince who sent you that million-dollar email.

These tactics keep us safe from malware and certain flavors of identity theft, but they don’t protect us from what goes on behind the scenes. Recent years have brought numerous email-related threats to light, and for some, they could be far more dangerous than any spammer or scammer.

Email Interception and Surveillance

Surveillance

Your emails, like all other data you send or receive through the internet, are susceptible to monitoring by network administrators or hackers with access to your network, especially on public WiFi. Because the most popular free email providers don’t encrypt your messages, they’re easy to intercept and read as they’re sent and received.

This makes email a huge security vulnerability; after all, pretty much every site you join is linked to your email. Password resets, private links, coupon codes, personal photos, tax forms, you name it – when you use an unsecured email provider, every message you read could potentially be read by someone else on the network.

But even if you only use your private home network for email, someone may still be watching and gaining access to your personal communications.

Law enforcement agencies routinely issue subpoenas, search warrants and court orders to email providers while investigating crimes. As long as the request conforms to the proper procedures, it must be fulfilled – and in many cases, email providers are legally prohibited from notifying users that their data has been given to authorities.

Many people have no problem with this, claiming that they have nothing to hide. But it’s not just the worst criminals who are targeted by these investigations: friends and relatives of suspects, unwitting lawbreakers, political dissidents and unlucky innocents are all vulnerable.

The types of data that companies like Google and Yahoo can hand over to law enforcement are staggering in scope. IP addresses, timestamps, contacts, email content and even attachments are perfectly preserved and ready to be used against you if possible.

In the USA, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies engage in massive surveillance operations in the name of national security, actively monitoring hundreds of thousands of email accounts for evidence of terrorism or other crimes. But less than 1/10th of these belong to actual surveillance targets; the rest are average citizens who are being secretly spied on by their government.

This is made possible in part due to the lack of security provided by the most popular email services; in fact, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all voluntarily gave the government full access to their servers for the purpose of this mass surveillance program. Without encryption or privacy protection laws, your email is virtually an open book to any authorities who wish to read it.

Email Provider Snooping

Envelopes mail in a door

The three biggest free email providers – Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook – have risen to popularity largely because their parent companies offer so many other web services. Gmail users in particular often rely on Google’s suite of apps and platforms for much of their online activity, from searches to shopping to file storage.

But putting your entire web presence in the hands of one company can have some unintended effects. In Gmail’s case, Google scans each and every email for keywords that it then uses to suggest responses, personalize ads and influence search results.

The impact of this ranges from mildly annoying (just because a friend emailed you about theater tickets doesn’t mean you want to search for musicals all the time!) to downright invasive (emailed your mom about a personal health condition? Every ad you see will remind you about it!). Your email should respect your privacy, not try to turn you into a product.

The Most Secure Email Providers, Reviewed

Dog in a mailbox

Ready to tighten up your internet security and lock down your email? One of these providers will help you get the job done, keeping your email the way it should be – for your eyes only.

ProtonMail

Protonmail

ProtonMail is championed by security activists and average internet users alike for good reason: it offers a superb balance of privacy and usability, enabling anyone to get secure regardless of technological prowess.

On the surface, ProtonMail’s sleek design is immediately appealing, reminiscent of Gmail’s familiar interface. It’s accessible through any web browser or via mobile app for Android or iOS, unlike some other secure email services that require you to use a standalone program.

Additionally, ProtonMail’s IMAP and SMTP support means that it can be integrated with an email client like Mozilla Thunderbird or Apple Mail – a handy feature for those who utilize these applications’ productivity tools.

ProtonMail’s code is open source, meaning that anyone can see exactly how it works and report any bugs or faulty code. This transparency is both a testament to the quality of the code and an assurance that there’s nothing shady going on under the hood.

Encryption is a complex topic that’s far beyond the scope of this article, but the most important thing to know is that end-to-end encryption is a must-have security feature. End-to-end encryption isn’t just present in ProtonMail, it’s impressive.

From the moment you click “send” to the moment your recipient opens the email, your message is rendered completely indecipherable thanks to ProtonMail’s AES-256 symmetrical encryption. This process uses a secret key to transform the data on the sender’s end, turning it into what looks like gibberish until it’s decrypted with another secret key on the recipient’s end; this second key is itself encrypted, adding another layer of security.

Some encrypted email providers don’t guarantee end-to-end encryption when emails are sent to unsecured providers such as Gmail, but ProtonMail does. Senders can opt to send recipients a link to the email on ProtonMail’s website, where it can be viewed securely even by those who don’t use ProtonMail.

Because of this end-to-end encryption, only the sender and recipient can view the email. Even though it passes through your ISP and ProtonMail’s servers, at no point do these other parties actually see any information about the message; thus, they can’t use the data in any way and, should law enforcement come knocking, there won’t be anything useful to hand over.

ProtonMail is based in Switzerland, one of the most privacy-friendly countries in the world. Swiss law doesn’t mandate any data retention nor any covert cooperation with international authorities seeking user data, and ProtonMail takes full advantage of this – IP logs aren’t stored and data requests must be approved by a court with the targeted individual’s full knowledge.

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Signing up for a ProtonMail account is simple, requiring only a username and password, with an option to provide a recovery email in case you forget your credentials. No personal information is ever collected, unlike many free email providers that demand phone numbers, birthdates and addresses.

If you’re content with a 150 message per day limit and a storage cap of 500 MB, you can use ProtonMail for free – a rare instance of a free security tool without a hidden catch. If that’s not enough for you, $5 a month will get you 1,000 emails per day and 5 GB of storage.

Power users can use ProtonMail with no message cap for $8 a month (for 5 GB of storage) or $30 a month (for 20GB of storage). Discounts for each tier are available if you prepay for a year in advance.

Who Should Use ProtonMail?

Users who want a classy UI, straightforward email client integration and Swiss security will find what they’re looking for in ProtonMail.

However, those looking to get a lot of use out of their free secure email account may wish to opt for a provider that offers more storage space and no message cap.

Tutanota

Tutanota mail

Based in Germany, one of the EU’s most privacy-friendly countries, and run by a small team of internet privacy activists, Tutanota (Latin for “secure message”) is an email provider that’s committed to security above all else. Unlike some providers, Tutanota owns and maintains all of its servers, eliminating the risk of third-party tampering.

Tutanota’s UI will appeal to minimalists and fans of clean design. It’s available as a web client or as an app for Android and iOS; there’s also a desktop client for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Like ProtonMail, Tutanota is fully open-source, allowing anyone to inspect its source code for vulnerabilities. The company welcomes contributions from the wider programming community and even maintains a “road map” of feature suggestions from users, along with updates on their implementation.

Tutanota’s end-to-end encryption uses a combination of AES-128 and RSA 2048 algorithms to secure email contents and attachments; encryption for metadata such as timestamps and email addresses is in the works. All encryption and decryption occurs only on the sending and receiving computers, never on Tutanota’s servers, meaning that not even the provider itself can read your emails.

The Tutanota team is working on an API to allow seamlessly integrated and encrypted communication to other secure email providers. In the meantime, users can send secure links to non-Tutanota users that allow them to view encrypted emails on Tutanota’s server; the links are password-protected, so the password will need to be communicated through some other means.

Both individuals and businesses can use Tutanota, and special discounts are available for nonprofit organizations. You can’t beat the price of free for the lowest service tier, which includes 1 GB of storage and one email address – plenty for the average user.

The Premium tier still caps your storage at 1 GB but gives you five aliases, unlimited searching and custom domain support for around $2 a month, making it an excellent choice for bargain hunters. For around $7 a month you can upgrade to the Pro tier, which nets you 10 GB of storage, a custom domain login and 20 aliases.

Who Should Use Tutanota?

Coders and programmers who like to analyze and contribute to the services they use will appreciate Tutanota’s thriving development community, while users on a budget will benefit from the free version or the ultra-affordable Premium tier.

If you want every part of your email encrypted, though, you’ll want to choose a different provider, as Tutanota hasn’t yet implemented metadata encryption.

CounterMail

Countermail

This Swedish company has been in business for over 10 years, during which time it’s become famous for its focus on privacy. While other secure email providers place a lot of emphasis on appearances, CounterMail’s team devotes its time to implementing the latest and greatest security protocols.

Though there aren’t official mobile apps available, CounterMail can be set up on Android with some configuration; the company provides a guide for this task. Other access options include a web client and third-party clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird with IMAP support.

CounterMail keeps no IP logs and utilizes diskless web servers to prevent any IP addresses from being leaked during transit. Its OpenPGP encryption algorithm uses 4,096-bit keys to make your emails virtually impossible to decrypt without authorization.

For even more security, CounterMail has implemented a one-of-a-kind encryption system to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, such as a hacker intercepting your email by pretending to be the email server. Most providers try to mitigate this with SSL, but CounterMail adds AES-CBC and RSA encryption to the mix – with three different types of encryption applied, there’s no chance your emails will be seen by anyone other than your intended recipient.

Users who want the ultimate security can order a free USB key from CounterMail that acts as a second password. Unless the USB key is plugged in, your account will be inaccessible.

CounterMail isn’t open-source, but the company’s website offers in-depth articles about many of its security features that may be of interest to those who wish to inspect the technical side of the service.

To account for the added costs that accompany high-strength encryption, prices are a little high compared to some other providers: $29 for six months, $49 for one year and $79 for two years. There’s no permanent free service option, though CounterMail does offer prospective users a one-week free trial.

All CounterMail accounts start with 4 GB of storage space, but additional space can be purchased as needed for a one-time fee. CounterMail accepts anonymous Bitcoin payments for added privacy.

Who Should Use CounterMail?

Those who value security over flashy design can’t go wrong with CounterMail; it’s the provider with the most advanced encryption and privacy features, and the added layers of protection demonstrate a real commitment to security.

Bargain hunters and users who want standalone mobile apps, however, will need to look elsewhere.

Hushmail

Hushmail

Hushmail has been around since 1999, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at its clean, modern design. It’s geared towards businesses and individuals who want an easy-to-use encrypted email platform with great customer support.

Users can integrate Hushmail with their IMAP or POP compatible email clients, use the web interface or access their inbox through the official iOS app (no Android app is available).

Encrypting an email with Hushmail is as easy as clicking a checkbox; from there, everything is encrypted with OpenPGP. Other Hushmail users will receive the email as normal, while non-Hushmail users will receive a secure link to the Hushmail website, where the email can be viewed by entering a passcode.

Some of Hushmail’s practices may reduce its appeal to privacy proponents, specifically its collection of personal information.

To create an account, you need to enter a mobile phone number and/or an alternate email address, and the company keeps logs of IP addresses and web activity in order to “analyze market trends” and “prevent abuse of [their] services.” It claims to never share this information with third parties and strips IP addresses from email metadata, however.

Hushmail offers one service tier: 10 GB of storage, unlimited aliases and phone or email tech support for $49.98 a year. If you want to try it out before committing to that cost, Hushmail offers a free 14-day trial with reduced storage space.

Who Should Use Hushmail?

Small businesses, iPhone users and tech novices who want a plug-and-play email provider will appreciate Hushmail’s modern iOS app and prompt tech support.

Security-conscious users who aren’t comfortable with Hushmail’s logging policies or solely-OpenPGP encryption should opt for another provider.

Mailfence

Mailfance

Mailfence was created with the intention of providing a full-featured email suite with solid encryption and advanced security. They’ve certainly succeeded in doing so; few secure email providers offer as many additional features and productivity tools as Mailfence.

Mailfence is similar to Gmail in that it’s bundled with several other applications including cloud storage for documents and a calendar. Users can also manage their contacts with ease by sorting them into groups, an oft-forgotten feature that’s great for organization.

Users who need to send faxes or text messages can purchase credits to do so through Mailfence – a unique feature that gives the service an edge for those who want to extend their secure communication beyond email.

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Encryption is optional on Mailfence, but when it’s enabled it’s end-to-end and handled via AES-256 and OpenPGP. The latter enables you to send end-to-end encrypted email to non-Mailfence users whose email providers support OpenPGP, such as the aforementioned Hushmail and CounterMail.

Some users may find Mailfence’s privacy practices unsatisfactory; the company maintains logs of IP addresses, timestamps, message subjects, sender and recipient emails, browser IDs and message IDs. However, it does not transmit this information to any third party and does not cooperate with international law enforcement except in accordance with Belgium’s strict disclosure laws.

The free version of Mailfence contains no ads but limits you to 500 MB each of document and email storage, 1,000 calendar events and email support.

The paid tiers are much more richly-featured: for around $3 a month you get 5 GB of email storage, 12 GB of document storage, 10 email aliases, 10,000 calendar events, POP/IMAP/SMTP support, iOS/Android access and telephone support. Pro users pay around $8.50 a month and get 20 GB of email storage, 24 GB of document storage, 50 email aliases and 50,000 calendar events, plus the additional protocol and device support from the previous tier.

Who Should Use Mailfence?

Those who want built-in calendar integration, Google Docs fans, faxers and texters will love Mailfence’s additional productivity tools, which are rare among secure email providers.

If you prioritize privacy, though, you may be turned off by Mailfence’s logging policies, which encompass a great deal more data than many other providers on this list.

Posteo

Posteo email

This German company takes a unique approach to secure email, touting its eco-friendliness as well as its privacy-friendliness as selling points. The servers are energy-efficient, all facilities run on 100% green energy and Posteo makes regular donations to environmental non-profit organizations.

Posteo’s open-source codebase provides an added layer of security, as anyone can view it and report bugs. This also allows programmers to develop additional features or contribute code to the project.

Your Posteo account can be added to any email client that supports IMAP or POP3. No mobile apps are available, but Posteo’s web interface is easy to use and features conversation view, an HTML editor and the ability to fully migrate up to three external email accounts to Posteo.

Also included with a Posteo account are handy calendar and address book applications, which can be synced with many mobile devices and fully encrypted with AES. Users can add photos to contacts, sort them into groups and synchronize birthdays with the Posteo calendar app.

Posteo doesn’t offer full end-to-end encryption for emails, but all server hard drives are AES encrypted and emails are encrypted with TLS as long as the recipient’s server also supports TLS encryption. Incoming emails can be optionally encrypted with OpenPGP or S/MIME.

Nothing about your activity on the Posteo website or web client, including IP addresses, is logged or tracked, and two-factor authentication can be activated for added security. Account data is backed up and retained for seven days solely for restorative purposes in the event of data loss or hard drive failure.

Registration and payment are both fully anonymous, even if you pay with a credit card or bank transfer. The company uses a special system that disassociates your payment information from your email account.

All accounts on Posteo start with 2 GB of storage, two aliases, three calendars and unlimited filter addresses for just over $1 a month; there is no free option. Additional storage can be added for just $0.28 per GB per month, while additional aliases and calendars will run you an extra $0.10 per month apiece.

Who Should Use Posteo?

Penny pinchers, those who want to easily migrate existing accounts and the environmentally-minded will love Posteo, as will users who want to pay anonymously without using cryptocurrency.

Users who need end-to-end encryption, mobile apps or a 100% free secure email account will need to use a different provider.

Runbox

Runbox email service

Based in Norway, Runbox aims to provide email that’s both sustainable and secure. Norway’s strong privacy protections are a huge draw for this company; any data disclosure requires a Norwegian court order and users must be notified prior to the disclosure.

Runbox’s servers run fully on hydroelectricity and are located in a maximum-security complex with state-of-the-art power and safety features. Several layers of redundancy ensure that even if one server goes down, your account will remain intact and accessible.

Users can access Runbox through any web browser or through an email client like Apple Mail; external email accounts can be imported with Runbox’s built-in migration tool. In addition to email, Runbox provides users with file storage, address books and calendars.

All emails are encrypted when sent from your computer to the Runbox servers, and they’ll be encrypted when passed on to the recipient if the receiving server supports TLS-encrypted emails. However, messages aren’t encrypted for storage unless you and your recipient have enabled and set up your own PGP encryption keys; this must be handled by a browser plugin or a standalone email client, not Runbox itself.

Runbox accounts start off with a 30-day free trial, after which prices range from $19.95 to $79.95 annually, depending on your chosen tier. The $19.95 Micro tier includes 1 GB of email storage and 100 MB of file storage, the $34.95 Mini tier increases to 5 GB and 500 MB respectively, the $49.95 Medium tier boosts you to 10 GB for email and 1 GB for files while the $79.95 Max tier gets you 25 GB for email and 2 GB for files.

Subaccounts of each tier type can be added on for less than half the cost of a new account, providing an economical way to get additional Runbox email addresses. Storage upgrades are also available, as is web hosting – a unique offering in the world of secure email.

All accounts have a 10 GB weekly bandwidth cap and a daily limit of 5,000 incoming messages and 500 outgoing messages. Attachment filesizes are limited to 100 MB.

Who Should Use Runbox?

Those who want an affordable way to provide multiple users with secure email and those who need web hosting as well as an email server will find a great home at Runbox.

However, users who need end-to-end encryption or want to pay for their email monthly rather than annually will need to look elsewhere.

StartMail

StartMail

Dutch users and privacy advocates may already be familiar with StartMail, as it’s run by the same folks behind the privacy-oriented search engine Startpage. Its user-friendly model is geared towards those who want secure email without the hassle of extra configuration.

StartMail supports IMAP and SMTP clients and offers a web interface as well. The platform is closed-source and encryption occurs on the server, not in your browser.

PGP encryption can be complicated for tech novices, but StartMail offers a one-click PGP tool to simplify the process and allow anyone to secure their emails. Users can also create disposable email addresses – temporary addresses that provide anonymity as needed across the web.

StartMail’s one-week free trial doesn’t require a credit card; after it’s over, access costs $59.95 a year and includes 10 GB of storage, 10 aliases, unlimited disposable addresses and PGP support.

Who Should Use StartMail?

Users who are new to email encryption and want a one-click solution will love StartMail, as will those who don’t want to give out their real email address when browsing the web.

Those who appreciate transparent coding and browser-side encryption may be unsatisfied with StartMail’s closed-source approach to secure email.

Kolab Now

Kolab Now

More than an email provider, Kolab Now is a full productivity suite to rival Google Drive and Microsoft Office. Geared mainly towards businesses and professionals, this Swiss company’s product will also hold a lot of appeal for busy individuals and those who like their lives centrally organized.

As its name suggests, Kolab Now’s features are great for teams and groups: task scheduling, file storage and sharing, notes, calendars and an advanced contact management system are just some of the socially-oriented tools offered in the suite. Desktop clients are available for all OSes, a web client is accessible through any browser and any mobile device can be synced with Kolab Now.

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Kolab Now is open source but doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption; OpenPGP or S/MIME encryption must be configured by the user via browser plugin or standalone email client. Emails are stored unencrypted on secure servers, but all data is protected by Switzerland’s strict privacy protection laws.

Individual accounts start at around $8.80 per month for 2 GB of storage, which can be increased up to 1 TB for around $55 per month. Those who don’t need the full Kolab Now suite can access just the email and address book features for around $4.30 per month.

Who Should Use Kolab Now?

Professionals and individuals who want a complete productivity suite with added security will be wowed by Kolab Now.

Those who don’t need as many features or who desire a more full-fledged encryption system will find a better deal elsewhere.

Mailbox.org

Mailbox.org

As its name suggests, Mailbox.org offers secure email, but that’s just the start of it: account holders also get cloud storage, a word processor, a spreadsheet creator, a task planner, a calendar and an address book. Mobile apps, IMAP/SMTP/POP support and a clean web interface enable productivity to continue whether you’re on the road or in the office.

Mailbox.org doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption for its emails, but it does make PGP encryption incredibly simple: with built-in PGP management tools, there’s no need for any extra plugins or configuration. Whenever possible, emails are sent with TLS encryption, and Mailbox.org deploys extra security mechanisms to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.

Registration is anonymous and payment can be as well, since Mailbox.org accepts Bitcoin and cash payments in addition to credit cards. IP addresses are stored for four days before being deleted.

New users can enjoy a 30-day free trial before subscribing to Mailbox.org. After the trial, service costs around $1 a month for 2 GB of email storage and 100 MB of cloud storage; each of these storage caps can be adjusted independently at any time, with 25 GB of each type amounting to around $5 a month.

Who Should Use Mailbox.org?

Users who want to customize their storage options and don’t want to keep track of their own PGP keys will find Mailbox.org both affordable and usable.

Because Mailbox.org doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption, you may wish to look elsewhere if security is a top concern for you.

LuxSci

LuxSci

LuxSci is unique in several ways: the company is based in the USA and its email services are geared primarily towards businesses, particularly healthcare businesses. The platform offers HIPAA compliance, meaning that its privacy features are strong enough that it’s been approved for the transmission of sensitive health information, but that’s not all it can do.

All LuxSci emails are end-to-end encrypted using the company’s SecureLine service, a combination of TLS, PGP, S/MIME and ESCROW encryptions. Emails are also stored in encrypted form unless the user specifically selects to only use TLS encryption.

Business and enterprise customers can also request full-disk encryption, wherein the entire hard drive itself is encrypted rather than just the files on it. Other services include web hosting, secure web forms and high-volume marketing email management.

Because it’s based in the USA, LuxSci is subject to the privacy-unfriendly data retention and disclosure laws of the country, but its encryption practices help to mitigate this downside. In other ways, its location is beneficial, allowing the company to offer speedy and helpful customer support via phone.

Plans are oriented towards businesses and start at $10 per month ($40 with HIPAA compliance) for 50 GB of storage on a shared server; storage can be added in increments of 100 GB for $30. Customers who want their own dedicated server with potentially unlimited storage will pay upwards of $67 per month.

Who Should Use LuxSci?

Businesses, especially healthcare-related ones, who require the utmost privacy and excellent customer support will appreciate LuxSci’s commitment to security and service.

Individuals who don’t need the business-oriented features that LuxSci offers will be able to find a better deal somewhere else.

Thexyz

Thexyz

For simple, affordable webmail, Thexyz is a solid option. The Canadian company’s straightforward web interface, IMAP/POP support and convenient Android and iOS apps make it a great choice for users who want secure email on all their devices.

Users can select an email address from several domains or use their own custom domain; the latter feature is available for all price tiers, unlike some other providers. Thexyz also offers Dropbox integration, mobile synchronization and a calendar.

Thexyz doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption, but data is still handled quite securely. Emails are sent using TLS encryption when possible, and on the server, they’re encrypted with AES-256.

$1.95 a month will get you 25 GB of email storage, while $4.95 a month adds 30 GB of cloud file storage and a Microsoft Outlook license. Thexyz’s $14.95 a month plan increases file storage to 100 GB, adds a Microsoft Office 365 license and guarantees 100% uptime.

Who Should Use Thexyz?

Users on a budget who want lots of storage and access to Microsoft’s productivity tools will find a lot to like about Thexyz, especially when prepaying for a year to get the annual discount.

On the other hand, privacy-oriented folks who want their emails fully encrypted will need to choose a different provider.

Email Security Tips

No matter which email provider you use, there are several things you can do to reinforce your privacy when sending and receiving emails.

Use Good PGP Practices

Key lot

PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy, but it’s more than that if it’s used correctly. In short, PGP involves the exchange of secret encryption keys between you and each person you communicate with through email; once you have each other’s PGP keys, you can exchange encrypted emails with one another.

Although most of the providers we covered utilize PGP to some extent, some aspects of key management are still in your hands (unless you use a provider with PGP management such as Mailbox.org). This means that you’ll need to keep your keys safe by ensuring that your computer is free from malware and only using secure networks.

Keep Your Browser Secure

If you use your web browser to access your secure email, make sure it’s secure and up to date. Though many browsers, including Firefox and Brave, come with built-in security features and don’t harvest data, there are plenty that do the opposite: Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera are among the worst offenders.

Whichever browser you use, always stay on top of updates. New viruses and exploits are discovered constantly, and unless you keep your browser updated, you’ll be vulnerable to the latest web dangers.

Try a VPN

Riot police in Paris

Many secure email providers allow you to remain completely anonymous during registration, but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep logs of your IP address and location. To prevent this, use a virtual private network, or VPN: it allows you to mask your location and IP address so your real info is completely disassociated from your email account.

Swtich to Secure Messaging

Email is great for many purposes, but for everyday conversations, most of us use text messaging or other instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Unfortunately, these methods are incredibly vulnerable not just to hackers but also to monitoring by governments, ISPs and mobile network providers.

Because of this, the popularity of encrypted messaging apps is on the rise. Telegram and Signal are just two of the many options that keep your private messages completely secure; consider switching and encouraging your contacts to do so as well.

Related Questions

Want to learn more about secure communications in our increasingly-invasive digital era? These topics may be of interest to you.

What are the Most Secure Web Browsers?

Closed door by lock

Many of the most popular web browsers secretly collect your browsing data and sell it to the highest bidder. Thankfully, there are others, including Tor and Mozilla Firefox, that prioritize your privacy over their profit.

What is PGP?

Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, has been around for nearly three decades and continues to be one of the most popular email encryption methods. It relies on contacts exchanging secret keys with one another that are then used to encrypt and decrypt their emails, like a special password for just one person.

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