11th March 2021 Advice 4 Minutes

Many people think that email encryption is just for large organisations who are dealing with confidential public information. It is essential for financial institutions, and health and social services who are dealing with log in details, account numbers and so on, but anyone can be vulnerable to having their entire email accounts hacked.

Any email sent over unsecured, public, or Wi-Fi networks can be potentially hijacked, and even emails sent within a secure company network can be intercepted by others. To prevent this, it is important to encrypt all emails so they will be rendered unreadable to all interceptors as they travel from your account to the receiver.

There are three things you should encrypt. Firstly, the connection from your email provider; secondly, your actual email messages; and thirdly, your cached or archived email messages.  Some people believe that an unencrypted connection to the email provider is only a problem on a public Wi-Fi network, but it is still a hazard on a work or private network.

Even if you use an email programme such as Microsoft Outlook or Mac Mail which is protected by a password, a snooper can bypass this and gain access to your entire cache, which is bound to contain some sensitive personal data unless you are super careful about erasing all email history.

To ensure the connections between your email provider and device are secure, check that the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are set up. You will be able to do this by navigating the settings or preferences menu on your email programme. It may be in the ‘advanced settings’ window, alongside the port numbers.

To encrypt messages in transit and stored emails, the process is more complex, and may be best achieved with specialist software programmes.

If you are looking for Office 365 message encryption, get in touch today to see how we can help.

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