Securing your email

Internet communication has evolved drastically, yet email still remains the foundation of communication for business and personal use.  Based on the fact that it survived being overtaken by a number of other means, it looks like email will be the primary use for communications for the foreseeable future.  Recent revelations about the NSA Prism program and other programs have shed light on how email is handled by large providers.

There is a prevalent thought that email only needs to be secured if you have something to hide.  But the real question is, do you want all of your emails displayed on a public website?  If you think the probability of this is low, consider the Stratfor email leak.  Also bear in mind that Stratfor is a private intelligence company.

The 2012 Stratfor email leak is the public disclosure of a number of internal emails between global intelligence company Stratfor‘s employees and its clients, referred to by WikiLeaks as the Global Intelligence Files. E-mails began appearing on WikiLeaks on February 27, 2012, with 973 of the claimed 5 million total emails published as of April 17.[1]

The e-mails are claimed to include client information, notes between Stratfor employees and internal procedural documentation on securing intelligence data.[2] These communications date from July 2004 through to December 2011.[3] WikiLeaks said it had obtained the e-mails from the hacker group Anonymous, who broke into Stratfor’s computer network in 2011.[4] In an initial announcement, WikiLeaks stated that they opened up a database of the emails to two dozen media organizations operating in several countries, including the McClatchy Companyl’Espressola RepubblicaARD, the Russia Reporter,[5] and Rolling Stone,[4] along with a “sneak preview” to the Yes Men.[5]

You can actually read all emails sent in and out of Stratfor for a number of years, here.  Securing your email means ensuring that only the intended recipient reads it.  By exchanging digital IDs, your email can only be opened and read by the intended recipient, that means even if there is an electronic snooping program, they can download your message but cannot read it.  If Stratfor was using such a system, the email leak would not have been possible.  In the case of Stratfor this was devastating for their business, because the emails revealed customer data, as well as outlining the internal operations of the company.

So when it comes to securing your email, consider if you want the world to read your message?

The solution to secure your email is simple and free.  It will require additional work to configure the security, but once it’s setup it operates automatically.

If you want to use an email provider that is already configured with encryption, try http://safe-mail.net/

To secure your existing email, first you need to obtain a digital certificate.  Click here to get one free from our partner Elite E Services.

If you operate your own domain name, and use email through it (such as myemail@yourdomain.com) you should consider purchasing an SSL certificate for the domain which can secure your website as well as your email (and any other services tied to that domain).  See options from FX System Hosting for SSL – SSL purchased through FX System Hosting will only work on domains and related services at FX System Hosting.

There are a plethora of free ways to setup encrypted email depending on your email service.

How to Encrypt Your Email and Keep Your Conversations Private

How to encrypt your email

The 3 Most Secure & Encrypted Email Providers Online

Lockbin – send private, secure email messages, easily

If you would like Global Intel Hub to assist you securing your email please contact us.

Further Reading: Email encryption – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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