Sending email on most services is very insecure. Your email usually passes through a large number of computers, other networks and countries, leaving a copy of itself in plain text each time. At all times your messages can be read by the people who are in charge of these computers and network equipment (and in many cases your government). Because email is sent in an easily readable format and is often stored for years, it has no protection from prying eyes meaning any personal information you send could be hacked years into the future. Messages you thought were deleted years ago may still be sitting on servers around the world.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Several secure email services are available. In fact, I have written about several of them in the past. See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+%22secure+email%22&t=hh&ia=web for a list of my past articles about secure email.
EncryptUs is another, although somewhat different, secure email service. It is super easy to use, uses super strong encryption based on recognized standards, protects your medical, financial, personal and sensitive information with only the intended recipient able to decrypt and read your email, and offers most of its features FREE of charge for personal use.
Another advantage of EncryptUs is that it works with most present email programs. You can continue to use your own email client. You can you use all your existing email addresses. Finally, it requires little knowledge or training of the recipient(s) of messages sent using EncryptUs.
One downside is that both correspondents must be using EncryptUs in order to send and receive secure email messages. Next, it only works with email programs installed in Windows systems; it doesn’t work with web mail (reading and writing email messages in a web browser such as using Hotmail, Outlook.com, AOL Mail, Yahoo Mail, and other web-base services). You must use a Windows email program, such as Thunderbird, Mailbird, Outlook, Pegasus Mail, and similar programs.
Perhaps the biggest limitation is that EncryptUs only works with Windows 7, 8 and 10. There is no version for Macintosh, Android, iPhone, iPad, or Linux. Instead, a Windows executable must be installed in the Windows system of both the sender and the recipient in order to encrypt and decrypt the email messages.
With EncryptUs, an email is encrypted as soon as the user sends it and decrypted when the recipient receives the email. During transit, the email is encrypted so no one else can read the contents of the email except the intended recipient.
EncryptUs is installed as a local proxy, so it intercepts your outgoing email when you press the Send button, it then grabs the public key of the recipient from the Firetrust key server and uses that to encrypt the email. The encrypted email is then sent to the recipient. Once the recipients computer receives the email, EncryptUs intercepts the encrypted email and uses the recipients private key to decrypt the email and send it to the users email program inbox.
Once EncryptUs is installed, you still send and receive emails as you normally would. There’s nothing special or different you need to do. EncryptUs operates invisibly in the background, encrypting and decrypting emails automatically as it manages your cryptographic keys. EncryptUs only works when someone else you send an email to is also using EncryptUs, then all your email communications together are automatically encrypted. Once an encrypted email is sent to another EncyptUs user, it is decrypted so the recipient can read and store it (and search for it later, if desired). The message is stored in the recipient’s email program in normal, unencrypted form. If you send an email to someone who doesn’t use EncryptUs, then your emails are sent as usual (not encrypted).
EncryptUs is free for personal use. Business users must purchase a license for $29.95 US.
So, to summarize…
- Email is sent in a plain readable format
- Copies of your email are left on servers.
- Stored email may be read in the future.
EncryptUS may be found at http://www.firetrust.com/products/encryptus-secure-email-encryption.