Hushmail: a Privacy-Oriented Email Service with Built-In Encryption and no Third-Party Advertising

When you send an email without using encryption it can potentially be monitored, logged, analyzed and stored by your employer, your Internet service provider and other parties. In fact, Gmail and some other email services even have “software robots” that read your email messages in order to display targeted advertising. In some countries, including the United States of America, government sponsored projects have been set up to collect massive amounts of data from the Internet, including email messages. This collection of private information stores billions of messages away for future analysis. This data collection is done without any search warrant, court order, or subpoena.

If you want to keep your messages private, you can find a dozen or more ways to do that. However, many of the current methods are difficult to use with cryptic commands. One of the easier methods is to use Hushmail.

Hushmail can exchange standard, unsecure email with any other email user in the world. However, as the sender, you choose whether nor not to send the message as a nonsecure, unencrypted message or to encrypt the contents of the email by typing a secret question and answer. If the secure (encrypted) option is chosen, the recipient must be able to answer the question in order to decrypt and read the email. Neither the sender nor the recipient need to have any special software installed on their computers. In fact, you can safely send and receive secure Hushmail messages from a public computer, such as at an Internet cafe or at a public library.

When exchanging email messages with another Hushmail user, all messages are encrypted automatically.

Hushmail encrypted messages are securely encrypted by using industry standard algorithms as specified by the Open PGP Standard (RFC 2440) to ensure the security, privacy and authenticity of your email. Even the Hushmail employees cannot read your messages sent with encryption.

Hushmail is based in British Columbia and therefore is governed by the laws of that province as well as Canadian laws. However, even if the Canadian authorities subpoena Hushmail at the request of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the text of the messages cannot be decrypted without information provided by you or the other person with whom you are exchanging email messages. Admittedly, Hushmail employees can view the email addresses used as well as the date and time that each message is sent. While the text of your messages are fully protected, Hushmail does not qualify as a truly anonymous email service.

Hushmail offers four levels of service:

FREE – 25 megabytes of message storage, no third-party advertising. All messages must be sent by using a web browser that has a secure SSL connection to Hushmail’s web servers. You will receive an email address ending in “@hush.com.” You may use the free service forever. However, you must sign in at least once every three weeks. In effect, the free service is really a “free trial” to see if you want to continue to use the service.

$34.99/year – 1 gigabyte of message storage, web access, unlimited email aliases, dedicated technical support. No third party-advertising. All messages must be sent by using a web browser that has a secure SSL connection to Hushmail’s web servers. You will receive an email address ending in “@hush.com.”

$49.98/year – 10 gigabytes of message storage, unlimited email aliases and dedicated technical support. No third party-advertising. In addition, anyone using the $49.98/year option may send and receive secure messages while using any standard POP/IMAIL email program installed in the local computer, such as Outlook, Apple Mail, Windows Live Mail, Apple iPhone/iPad, Android, and many other programs that support secure SSL connections to mail servers. You will receive an email address ending in “@hush.com.”

Business Users – In addition, Hushmail offers a secure email service for businesses with prices starting at $5.24/month/per user plus a one-time $9.99 setup fee. Business users receive unlimited email aliases and dedicated technical support. No third party-advertising. In addition, business users may send and receive secure messages while using any standard POP/IMAIL email program installed in the local computer, such as Outlook, Apple Mail, Windows Live Mail, Apple iPhone/iPad, Android, and many other programs that support secure SSL connections to mail servers. In addition, business users can use email addresses that end in the company’s domain name, such as “@mycompany.com. A detailed feature list for business users may be found at https://www.hushmail.com/services/business/features/all/.

Hushmail is an excellent choice for anyone who wishes to keep email messages private. You can learn more at at https://www.hushmail.com/.

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