Imagine Your Life Without Email…
Can you imagine life without email? From interacting with colleagues at work and staying connected with family and friends, to receiving confirmation messages for things they’ve purchased online, an estimated 3.8 billion people use email on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, email is also susceptible to attacks and, if you’re not careful, important and private information can fall into the wrong hands. Email encryption solves this problem. In this post we’ll explore different aspects of encryption including what it really is, how it works and a few specific industries that greatly benefit from secure email software. Let’s dive in!
What Is Email Encryption?
Email encryption is the process of masking an email’s content in order to protect it from being seen by anyone other than the intended recipient. You can encrypt:
1. Your Email Provider Connection: When you encrypt your email provider’s connection, you prevent prying eyes from apprehending your private information while your message travels across multiple servers towards your target.
2. Your Email Messages: By encrypting your emails before you send them, you’ll ensure they’re completely unreadable to anyone other than your recipient; even if the messages are intercepted before they reach their final destination.
3. Your Archived Emails: Should a hacker gain access to your email account, encryption guarantees that the content inside your archived messages remains secure.
Why Is Email Encryption Important?
The benefits of secure email encryption are obvious for businesses dealing in private information such as hospitals and law firms, but is advantageous for the average email user as well. For example, what if you need to send your social security number, bank login credentials, or even your home address to, say, a family member?
That’s not the kind of information you want just anyone to see, but without encryption, your personal data is vulnerable.
Who Benefits From Email Encryption?
Anyone who is concerned about the security of their emails can benefit from email encryption, but there are a few industries, in particular, where not having email encryption just isn’t an option.
The Healthcare Industry: The healthcare industry is heavily regulated. In fact, there are five specific HIPAA (Health Insurance and Portability Act) requirements in regard to email: access controls, audit controls, integrity, person or entity authentication and transmission security. Companies need a HIPAA compliant email solution in order to avoid paying hefty fines of one hundred thousand dollars or more.
The Financial Industry: Professionals in the financial industry understand the need for an encrypted email service. After all, just about every breach in information can be linked to money and the desire for more of it. An email encryption service will provide secure information exchanges between accountants, bankers and mortgage lenders and their customers.
The Legal Industry: Surveys show that one in four law firms with at least 100 attorneys have experienced some type of data breach in the past. That’s a huge number and since law firms regularly deal with sensitive information, such as social security and bank routing numbers, many unfortunate people have had their private information stolen. Worst of all, every breach could have been avoided with the use of an email encryption service.
The Insurance Industry: The insurance industry must comply with both healthcare and financial regulations due to the wide variety of insurance offerings available. With both GLBA and HIPAA compliance being mandatory for businesses operating in the insurance sector, email encryption is non-negotiable.
How Does Email Encryption Work?
The benefits of encryption are clear, but how does it work? Different secure email providers handle the process in varying ways, but the underlying principle of public-key cryptography is the same. In this system, both public and private keys (strings of digitized information) are created and used to securely scramble and unscramble data. Without possession of one of the keys, it’s nearly impossible to decrypt a message sent via secure email software.
This is the technology email encryption providers have built their service upon, but, as mentioned previously, the execution of said technology is handled in different ways. Some companies offer a secure, cloud-based portal, in which both the email sender and email receiver can log in to and access encrypted messages. Other companies offer email extensions inside Outlook, Gmail, etc., which make the encryption process incredibly simple for users by encrypting emails at the click of a button.
Most people believe that they will never be the victims of a hacker, but, unfortunately, people’s private information is stolen and abused on a regular basis. Even major companies such as JP Morgan and Sony have suffered massive data breaches in the last few years. It’s better to be safe than sorry. By utilizing secure email software, you’ll ensure your private details remain just that: private.
Protecting your information should be the highest priority; we encourage you to sign up for your free trial of NeoCertified today and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your personal information is safe inside your own secure email account.
Written by Jacob Thomas