A Simple Guide on How to Encrypt an Email

A Simple Guide on How to Encrypt an Email

By default, emails travel from a sender to a recipient unprotected. For instance, if you send unencrypted emails, you risk their content to data leaks and attacks. To protect your privacy and prevent data breaches, you must encrypt them.

But what is an encrypted email?

In the digital age, we expose ourselves and our private information to cybersecurity threats. The US lost over $4.24 million in data breach costs in 2021. With email encryption, you authenticate messages to prevent unauthorized individuals from reading them.

Continue reading to know different methods used how to encrypt an email.

1. S/MIME

If you want to send an encrypted email without struggling, use the S/MIME protocol. It uses digital certificates to secure sensitive information shared by entities. Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions uses a centralized system to determine encryption algorithms.

2. PGP/MIME

Are you looking to encrypt personal emails? The Pretty Good Privacy/ Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions uses a decentralized system. With this, you can create your encryption keys.

However, when using this method, you need a third-party encryption tool. You can find more on decentralized email here.

Email Encryption on Different Platforms

Now that you know the different encryption protocols, you can now learn how to encrypt an email. Let’s take a look:

1. Gmail

You don’t need to worry about encrypting mail on Gmail as the app pre-built a S/MIME into their system. However, email encryption on the app only works if both parties enable it. With this, follow the instructions to enable hosted protocol.

First, compose your message on the app. After writing your email, navigate your cursor to the lock icon beside the recipient. Then, select View Details to enable and change the encryption level.

2. Outlook

If you have a Microsoft 365 plan on Outlook, you can use the S/MIME protocol. However, get a digital ID first from a certificate authority before encrypting emails. Thus, go to the Trust Center Settings and click the Email Security tab on Outlook.

There, you can import a digital ID and learn how to add them.

After importing certificates, go to Settings under the Encrypted Email to check if it uses S/MIME. Next, check all the boxes found on the Encrypted Mail menu. Doing so encrypts and adds a digital signature to all your emails.

When composing your message, go to Options and click Encrypt to see if you’re making an encrypted email.

3. iOS

Like Gmail and Outlook, iOS devices pre-built the S/MIME on their systems. To enable the S/MIME encryption protocol, go to the Advanced Settings on your device. Then, switch the Encrypt by Default to yes, located at the bottom of the settings.

Ensure to click the lock icon beside the recipient when composing an email.

4. Android

The Android operating system is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Ironically, it also doesn’t have any encryption protocol in its system.

You can install software and applications to encrypt messages. You don’t need to worry about what protocol to use, as Android can host S/MIME and PGP/MIME. The only struggles with this OS are the extra setup to fix and install a third-party app.

Learning How to Encrypt an Email

Now you know how to encrypt an email using different platforms. Increase data security and avoid cyberattacks with email encryption. Follow encryption instructions or install credible apps.

Looking for more data security tips? Check out the rest of our blogs for more.

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