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Email Security: What Can Go Wrong
No matter how much you trust the reader on the other end of your sent email not to forward your information to others and not to use your information to some other purpose than what it is intended for, email security is a real issue, and problem, for many individuals and companies. By not paying attention to email security, you run a risk for identity theft, data loss, damage to your reputation, and sometimes, in rare cases, real danger of bodily harm. It is important, therefore to be sure that no matter what email service you provide, you pick out the most secure email service you can find.
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What to Look For in Secure Email Services
It is important that before you sign up for any email service you investigate the different security features it offers. You also will need to assess the security level you will need in your email service provider. For example if you rarely deal with sensitive issues or client data, you may be able to get away with Gmail as your email service provider. However, be aware that Gmail has been noted to have some privacy issues - this means that your information may not be as secure as you would like it to be. Once you've determined the level of security you will need in your email program, it will be easier for you to assess how secure your current email service provider is.
More secure email services will feature:
- IMAP instead of POP downloading protocol options
- Spam filters and controls
- Phishing detection
- Virus scanning upon attachment of files and upon download of files
- Https:// and not Http:// coding
Generally speaking, the more complex the encryption process of the email service provider, the more secure your email should be. Never, never use an email service that is not secure. If you do, you are only asking for problems.
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So...What is the Most Secure Email Service?
The most secure email service is a program called Hushmail (www.hushmail.com). Hushmail provides several security features:
- Eavesdropping prevention through encrypting your emails
- Protection from content analysis
- Protection from hackers and thieves
- Protection from email forgery
Hushmail can be used with email clients, and the program features a download that makes it compatible with Microsoft Outlook. You can also, for $1.99 per month have an email address that has your custom domain name - not bad for secure email.
Other secure email services include S-Mail, a program that uses military level encryption technology to protect your data, Comodo, a service that simplifies the encryption process, and Gmail - which now uses https technology; however be aware that with Gmail, your email is only secure when sent to other Gmail users.
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Help! Is My Email Secure?
Finally, while Hushmail is the most secure email server, there are lots of email services out there that are not secure. If you have any of the following email services, and you need to send secure data, sensitive information, or important documents, you may want to rethink your strategy and sign up for one of the more secure providers:
Just because these services are not as secure as others, doesn't mean that you should scrap them all together. You will, however want to look into downloading some email security software to help boost the security of the emails, use highly secure passwords, and invest in encryption software.