As technology grows ever more important for businesses, so too does the use of encryption to ensure that important data and information isn’t intercepted or stolen. There are many different types of encryption and even more ways to use it. One very important use for it is to safeguard the contents of emails.
Why Use Encryption?
Anytime you have data that needs to be kept secure and away from prying eyes, then it should be encrypted. For emails, encryption disguises and obfuscates the contents within so that the only people who can read it are those with the key to unscramble it.
Not only is it possible for a hacker to intercept emails and read them, but if you store emails on your computer or other device, you run the risk of having them stolen by anyone who gains access to it. Encryption helps prevent these scenarios from happening by ensuring that your emails are unreadable to the hacker if they were to intercept them.
If you’re ever unsure as to whether or not you should encrypt your email just ask yourself the question, “Do I care if a hacker sees this email?” If your answer is yes, then you should use encryption.
How to Encrypt Your Emails
There are two main methods of using encryption for emails: securing the connection and encrypting the contents of the email.
If you’re using an email program, then you will need to set up the connection encryption manually. How to do this largely depends on the program that you’re using, but the things that need to be set up to secure the connection are Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TSL). For most email programs, this will be a setting you can turn on when you first set up your email.
However, if you check your email through a web browser then your connection may already be secure from the start. You will be able to tell if your connection is secure if the address starts with “https://.” Some web browsers will also let you know if the connection isn’t secure.
If it starts with “http://” then you can try changing it to “https://” to get a secure connection. If that doesn’t work, then your email doesn’t support connection encryption.
To encrypt the actual content within an email, you will need to use something called Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). PGP allows you to jumble up the content in your email to make it unreadable, which can then only be unscrambled by the intended recipient using the right key. With PGP, each person will have two keys: a public key to give to the sender to encrypt their message and a private one that is used to decrypt the message. This ensures that only you can read the emails others send using your public key.
From securing your connection to protecting the contents of your emails, encryption is a very important tool to use in order to keep your data safe from hackers. Although it may not be as complicated as some imagine, it can still be confusing to figure out when you need to use it and how to set it up correctly, but the security it gives is more than worth the trouble.
If you’d like to learn more about encryption and how to use it, don’t hesitate to contact us today!