How to Secure Your Email

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The vast majority of people, and even businesses in the country, don’t have to worry about being hacked or spied on.  Even the largest corporations won’t necessarily be at risk.  However, nobody will ever really know if they are being targeted unless they have a pro-active security policy and the staff to enforce it.

For the rest of us, it makes sense to protect ourselves anyway, just in case.  Especially is it doesn’t cost anything or take any extra effort on our part.  Secure email is one such facility that very few of us even know about let alone use.  Those of us who use Gmail may use the HTTPS only option, but that still isn’t foolproof.

For businesses the answer to how to secure email is pretty easy.  You employ someone to do it for you.  That can either be internally, or a third party vendor that offers secure email hosting, or a certificate agency like Thawte or Verisign.  If your organization is involved in financial or medical transactions then things get a little more complicated.  You have to worry about things like SOX and HIPAA which takes an extra level of security and infrastructure to comply with.

For the rest of us there are free digital certificates that can offer verification of identity of the sender and also encrypt the contents of the email.  This secure email methodology is easy to set up, needs no extra administration and best of all, is free of charge.

If you do a Google search for secure email you will find a host of hosted email providers that can offer secure, encrypted email services, for a fee.  There will also be a couple of companies like Thawte and Comodo that offer free digital email certificates for individual use.

Using one of these certificates in your personal email client can protect your personal information, and communications from prying eyes.  The certificate means that the email sender is trusted by the certificate provider who acts as a middleman in the process.  While this may seem a little over the top, if the public took more care over their private information, cybercrime would start to go out of fashion.

So while it may seem a little over the top, protecting yourself in any situation is key to keeping your identity and credit score intact.  Understanding and managing risk is all about identifying perceived threats, then taking action against them.  The other part of it is designing counters to these threats that don’t impact too much on your life, or get in the way of what you’re doing.

Using a digital certificate to secure email, private or business related is a good first step in securing yourself against attack or identity theft.  Even if nobody is watching you, using encryption is a good safeguard for when they do.