Securing Your Email

Update 05/28/2014 - TrueCrypt is now defunct

Others have remarked in astonishment why anyone would think their email is safe from prying eyes. It's not. I expect that someone will successfully read all my email...what I hope happens though is that they not be able to read it because it is encrypted. I suspect that some would rather their email actually be read because they have something to confess.

For those that would rather not, it is easy to encrypt your email, your files, and protect your top-secret passwords. One new tool I wasn't aware of until I started writing this blog entry is Enlocked. It works on mobile devices (e.g. iOS, Android), as well as features plug-ins for your favorite browsers.
Enlocked works by offering an encryption option that can be applied on a message-by-message basis. A user who has downloaded the Enlocked app would see the “secure send” option as they’re sending an email. If the sender opts to send it with encryption, the recipient then receives two emails: One informing him or her that an encrypted email is about to come through, and another that is the actual email. (Source: Allthingsd)
You can also encrypt text messages using one of the following approaches:
  1. Use 7zip to compress and encrypt (using a password) your files, either individually or en masse (like a folder). 7zip employs AES-256 encryption for its password security (of course, you have to have a tough to crack password).

    Here are some specific suggestions for 7zip programs (all free, open source):
    1. On Windows, use compression tool.
    2. On Macintosh, use Keka, a wonderfully "new" 7zip tool for Macintosh that should replace your compression utilities.
  2. Use to create a "locked" box of any size you wish. Into this locked box, you can place sensitive files and protect them. This works for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Small Truecrypt volumes could be emailed.
  3. Give a try. This is my favorite solution for quickly encrypting files, especially on Windows since it has right-click possibilities. Unfortunately, you will have to use the command line on Linux and such, Mac users clinging to their precious GUI ;-) may want to stick with Keka or Truecrypt.
Finally, if you don't think you can remember all these passwords, use Keepassx--which you can put on and access them from your phone--to store your passwords. That way, you can easily keep track of all your top-secret passwords and not have them written down on post-it notes or have them taped to your desk. Keepassx is easy to use encrypted database that works on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS (e.g. iPad/iTouch), and Android devices.

Most people won't bother with encryption, though. It's "too hard," or they have more important work to be about.

What's your excuse?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Anonymous said…
Hi Miguel,
I really found your post to be eye-opening. Before reading this post, I never thought about how easy it can be to access another person emails. Thanks for the information on securing one's emails, it was very helpful.

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