Maybe you already use secure email. If you do… GREAT! Maybe you know you should but haven’t gotten around to it. If so, consider this a nudge. Finally, maybe you think most of us just don’t need it. Okay, I’ll partly concede that one but please consider what follows.
What is “secure email” anyway? Basically it is a system intended to keep your emails between you and your intended party. There are many ways to do this. I will show you one just as easy to set up and use as a Grrgle mail account. It is not the only way but it works and it is effective. So why bother?
Your Boss Is Not the Only One Reading Your Email
Unencrypted email can be read by just about anyone willing to put the effort into it. Most of the time this is not a worry, however the federal government in particular routinely collects any and all information they can. Then they store it. No worries, you say, because there ain’t nothin in there anyway. Okay… but look at recent news stories. Some of the most innocent things have been taken totally out of context. Then the hammer comes down. Ask the kid who noticed his half-eaten pop tart looked like a handgun.
This is just one example of controllers gone wild. It may be hard to imagine now but at some point the controllers won’t care if you say or do anything dangerous at all. If they decide to come after you, they’ll simply make up whatever they want as “evidence”. Granted, your encrypted emails won’t do anyone any good then but we are not there yet.
Tweaking the Bastards
This may be the best reason at all. What do controllers hate most of all? Lack of control, I’d say. Soooo… the more we use encryption the more the controllers get tweaked. Plus they now have to devote more and more resources to decrypting our emails. How hard is that? I do not know. It is supposed to be nigh impossible but who can tell really? For all I know it is a simple one-step process. Even so it is an extra step they are forced to take. Time and resources spent on stupid shit. Perfect. It also sends a message. We know you are watching, we don’t like it so BFYTW. Actually, I make make BFYTW may sig file in my secure email. How delicious is that?
The Stuff You Keep in Your Email Account
Let’s face it, our email accounts are full of passwords, password resets and all sorts of personal… and private information. Doesn’t it make sense to keep that stuff as secure as possible? Okay, so maybe you keep your account super clean. There is a word for that. Me? I just let that crap pile up. Hey! It’s only a tiny bit of space on massive servers. Information I may want is stored semi-neatly in folders and, yes dear, I do go back and get stuff sometimes.
Setting a Precedent
At some point, whether you use encryption or not, the controllers will move to outlaw it. It will be “for our own safety” don’tcha know. If use is widespread, this weakens their argument. If you are already using encryption, said use should be grandfathered as “ex-post facto”. Yeah, okay, if they really want to put the screws to us – and they always do – they will ignore that. Still any wrenches we can toss in their works is worth a shot. You never know what might break the gears.
So How Hard Is Encrypting Your Emails?
There are a lot of encryption schemes out there and yes, some of them can be complex. That said, I’m going to show you something quick, easy and painless – Proton Mail. Proton Mail works like Yahoo Mail or Gmail but the emails you send are secure. Whoever receives it will not know the difference. I have no idea how they do this but I can tell you it is used by some very respected cyber security experts such as Kit Perez and if she uses it, that alone boosts my confidence it the system. It is based in Switzerland where they have some very strict privacy laws – laws they actually enforce. The system was devised by CERN so we are not talking about encryption developed by some kid on his home laptop. (Not to say, the kid can’t do it but…) Does all of this mean you can use it and never worry? Sure. Go ahead. Meanwhile I’ll stay paranoid even though I’m using it. My point here? Never get complacent. They say curiosity killed the cat, I often wonder if the little bugger didn’t just get lazy.
One more thing – you’ll notice that while my email address is prominently displayed on TLC, you cannot copy and paste it. The address is actually an image file so it cannot be scavenged by bots. My apologies for any inconvenience.
P.S. While Proton Mail offers both free and paid options, no affiliate links were used here. As far as I know, Proton Mail has no affiliate program. That said, you may want to consider upgrading to a paid account. Not only do you get more features, but the revenue helps support efforts to secure everyone’s communications.