Email has come a long way since its invention in 1972 by Ray Tomlinson, to a large extent it has replaced conventional mail (or post if you’re English, like me). However, banks and other organisations still favour “snail mail” as a secure way to send documents to customers. I’m sure you’ve asked why they don’t just email you, it is the 21st century after all. The fact is traditional email is insecure. It’s possible not only to trace the sender but every mail server an email passes through. Emails can be intercepted, spoofed and used to deliver cyberattacks.
Most of us use free mail services like outlook.com and Gmail. Both do a great job of filtering spam and identifying suspicious emails but how secure are they? As with all online accounts, they are only as secure as your password, neither Outlook nor Gmail includes encryption by default for any of the massages that you send. You can’t prevent emails being intercepted but with encryption, you can stop someone reading your message.
Aside from encryption, services like Gmail use AI to read your messages so that they can send you helpful notifications. You may not realise but you have agreed to this in their terms of service. This basically means Google has access to every message you send or receive. If you’re not cool with this then you should look at more private options, Proton Mail is my prefered choice.
Proton Mail is based in Switzerland and is dedicated to your privacy and security. They provide free end-to-end encryption automatically with every message you send, meaning only the intended recipient can read your message. Their service is anonymous, remember when you signed up to Outlook or Gmail and you had to give over your date of birth, address and phone number? Not so with Proton Mail, simply provide a name and choose and email address and you’re all set. On top of all that, it’s really easy to use, the inbox is free of clutter and the interface is very sleek.
In addition to all the clever software, they use state of the art hardware to keep everything secure. They don’t keep any IP logs so your account stays anonymous.
There are paid-for options, Proton Mail is funded by the community, they don’t show ads and depend entirely on support to keep the service running. For those that need more storage space or to use it as part of a corporate installation, you might consider the Plus, Professional or Visionary plans. For the majority of us, the free service is plenty. They even throw in a free VPN for added security, which I will talk about in another post. They also have their own app for iOS and Android so you can get your email, securely, wherever you are.
Setup you’re Proton Mail account and start yourself on a path to a safer internet today.
If you’re interested in safer browsing, check out my post on the Brave web browser. A faster, safer way to browse the Internet.