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How to Encrypt Email (Gmail, Outlook, iOS, Yahoo, Android, AOL)

by stacy

When you send an email, mail encryption is the act of masking the content of the message in order to prevent it from being read by third parties. Email transmissions of sensitive information such as social security numbers, passwords, login credentials, and bank account numbers put the recipient’s information at risk.

In order to protect sensitive information in emails, it’s critical to encrypt all of them, not just the ones that contain it. If only a portion of your emails is encrypted, this is a red flag for hackers and might make your inbox even less safe. In order to obtain useful information, they will just need to hack into a few emails rather than go through hundreds of thousands. We explain how to encrypt emails across several providers and provide a visual representation of our recommendations in an infographic.

What is Email Encryption and how does it work?

Email encryption is essentially the process of mixing up the contents of an email so that it becomes a puzzle that can only be solved by the person who sent the email. Emails are encrypted and decrypted with the help of the public key infrastructure (PKI). Each individual is assigned a public and private key, which is represented by a digital code.

The public key, together with the person’s name and email address, is stored on a key server and may be read by anybody who has the key server’s URL. This public key is what is used to encrypt the email, and it can be found here. Suppose someone wanted to send you an email containing sensitive information. They would use your public key to encrypt the message. The decryption of emails is accomplished through the use of the private key. It is stored on the person’s computer in a secure and private location, and only that person has access to it. It is also possible to digitally “sign” a message so that the recipient knows it was sent by you using your private key.

What is the significance of email encryption?

Email encryption is vital since it protects you from being a victim of a data theft or theft. If a hacker is unable to read your communication because it has been encrypted, he or she will be unable to do anything with the information. It has been reported that over 13 billion data records have been lost or stolen since 2013. Data breaches are estimated to cost an average of $3.86 million per incident in 2018. Since the beginning of 2017, this figure has increased by 6.4%. Because data breaches often take a long time to detect, they can be extremely expensive. When a breach was discovered, it took an average of 197 days to identify it, and an average of 69 days to control it in 2018. In order to avoid becoming a cybersecurity statistic, you should encrypt your email messages as a prophylactic measure.

Email Encryption Comes in Several Forms

The S/MIME and PGP/MIME email encryption protocols are the two most common forms of email encryption protocols. In most OSX and iOS devices, an encryption technique called S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is pre-installed, and it relies on a centralised authority to select the algorithm. S/MIME is the most often used method of email encryption since it is embedded into significant web-based email firms such as Apple and Microsoft Outlook.

PGP/MIME (Pretty Good Privacy/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a decentralised trust model that was created to address the security difficulties that plain text messages were experiencing at the time of their development. This strategy provides greater flexibility and control over how thoroughly your emails are secured, but it does necessitate the use of a third-party encryption service.

Gmail Encryption: How to Encrypt Emails

Despite the fact that Gmail already has S/MIME built in, it will only work if both the sender and the recipient have it enabled.

Hosted S/MIME should be enabled. You can enable hosted S/MIME by following the steps provided by Google on how to enable hosted S/MIME.
Write your message in the manner in which you are accustomed.
To the right of the recipient’s name, click on the lock icon.
To change the S/MIME settings or the amount of encryption, select “see details” from the drop-down menu.
When changing the encryption levels, keep the following colour codes in mind:

A green bar indicates that the information has been encrypted using S/MIME and that it can only be decrypted using a private key.

Gray Is a colour that is both subtle and bold. TLS encryption is used to protect the email (Transport Layer Security). This only works if both the sender and the recipient are equipped with TLS capabilities, which is not always the case.

Red — There is no encryption security in the email.

How to Encrypt Emails in the Microsoft Outlook Program

In addition to being interoperable with the S/MIME protocol, Outlook also requires additional configuration to be effective.

Enable the S/MIME encryption protocol. In order to complete this process, you will need to obtain a certificate or digital ID from your organization’s administrator and install S/MIME control. S/MIME encryption can be configured in Office by following the instructions outlined in that program’s help.
By selecting S/MIME settings from the gear menu, you can encrypt all communications or digitally sign all messages. Either encrypt the contents and attachments of all messages or include a digital signature in all messages that are sent can be selected.
Individual messages can be encrypted or deleted by selecting additional options (three dots) at the top of a message and selecting message options from the drop-down menu. Select or deselect “Encrypt this message (S/MIME)” from the drop-down menu. When sending a message to someone who does not have S/MIME enabled, you will want to deselect the box so that they can read your message. Otherwise, your message will not be received.
How to Encrypt Emails on iOS iOS devices come pre-installed with S/MIME capability as a matter of course.

To enable S/MIME, navigate to the advanced options menu.
Change the setting for “Encrypt by Default” to yes.
When you are through writing your message, a lock icon will display next to the recipient’s name. To encrypt the email, close the lock icon on your browser’s toolbar.
Please keep in mind that if the lock is blue, the email can be encrypted. If the lock is illuminated in red, the recipient must enable S/MIME on their computer.

Users of email services who require third-party encryption tools
The S/MIME or PGP/MIME protocol will be required for email providers and devices that do not already have S/MIME compatibility built in. A third-party tool will be required by these services and devices.

Using Yahoo to Encrypt Your Emails
As an additional layer of security to protect the account, Yahoo uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt third-party services using S/MIME or PGP/MIME to protect the account.

The encryption of Android emails can be accomplished with S/MIME and PGP/MIME, although both involve additional setup and the use of a third-party app.

With AOL, you can encrypt your emails.
Encrypting emails in AOL can be done manually, but it is necessary to use a third-party application in order to comply with the PGP/MIME standards. You must first download the PGP implementation, and then you must obtain a tool that allows you to use PGP encryption with your webmail provider after you have downloaded the PGP implementation.

Email Encryption Services are available.
Email encryption can be accomplished manually or with the use of a secure email provider. Each of these email service apps has its own set of features, such as the ability to encrypt emails, attachments, and contact lists. They take care of this in the background, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to do it yourself.

Among the notable service providers are:

ProtonMail
ProtonMail allows you to implement end-to-end encryption and is compatible with the PGP encryption standard. A number of various price levels are available, based on the number of domains required and how many messages are sent every day.

Plans are available for free and for a fee.
Apps are available for Android and Apple devices.
Ciphermail
Ciphermail is compatible with S/MIME, OpenPGP, TLS, and PDF encryption methods. It is well-known for its compatibility with Android-based mobile devices.

Apps for Android are available for no cost.
Mailvelope
Mailvelope is a webmail service that uses OpenPGP encryption to protect messages. It is compatible with the following email clients: Gmail, GMX, Outlook, Posteo, WEB.DE, and Yahoo.

Apps: Chrome and Firefox are available for no cost.
Virtru Virtru provides end-to-end email encryption services that are compatible with Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, and a few additional email service providers, among others.

Plans are available for free and for a fee.
Chrome and G Suite are examples of applications.
Using PGP encryption, Startmail may communicate with email services such as Outlook or Gmail, without requiring a separate installation.

Plans are available for free and for a fee.
There are no applications.
Send 2.0 Sendinc is an email client that uses military-grade encryption and is compatible with both Outlook and Google Gmail.

Plans are available for free and for a fee.
Outlook add-in is an example of an application.

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