Use A Strong Password
First things first: you have to make sure that your password isnt something that people can easily guess. This means that your birthday, your Social Security number, your phone number, and other personal details are out of the question. You also shouldnt use common passwords like 123456, qwerty, or even password.
So, what should your password be? There are several tricks you can use, such as using a sentence that you can easily remember. This can be a passage from your favorite book, a line from your favorite movie, or a sentence youve learned in a foreign language basically anything that has a special meaning to you. Its also advisable to capitalize a few letters and add in numbers and special characters just make sure you remember the exact structure of your password!
Should I Leave Gmail For A Secure Email Provider
De-Googling has become all the rage, and anybody who leaves Google services for alternative providers that value consumer privacy is on the right track in our opinion.
While there is nothing stopping you from implementing the steps above to send secure emails with Gmail, there is also nothing to stop your contacts from sending you non-secured emails. Unfortunately, when they do, Google will monitor those messages via automated means.
This is far from ideal, because while you choose to use Gmail, Google will engage in some level of surveillance capitalism for marketing purposes. So what’s the solution?
The best option is to leave Google behind for a secure email service that puts consumer privacy first as part of its service.
Privacy advocates around the world recommend ProtonMail. The service provides end-to-end encryption for emails by design, and it has strong privacy policies that ensure its developers never access your emails for any reason.
This makes ProtonMail the leading choice for journalists, political dissidents, human rights activists, lawyers, and citizens who value their privacy.
What’s more, ProtonMail is based in Switzerland a location that is excellent in terms of data protection laws and where you don’t have to worry about mandatory data retention directives.
Written by:Aaron Drapkin
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How Secure Is Gmail For Personal Use
Yes. Gmail is secure for personal use. Google encrypts users data and transmits it with TLS 1.1.
The encrypted Google data is further verified by the SHA1 cryptographic hash function and then decoded by ECDHE_RSA key exchange algorithm.
It means that Google transfers you the Gmail information in an encoded format, and only you have the access key to decode that data.
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Remove From Personal Gmail
To Prevent Email Providers From Monitoring Emails And Sharing Data With Advertisers
Email providers have been known to monitor and scan users email messages to facilitate targeted advertising efforts. Though in 2017 Gmail apparently discontinued the practice of scanning emails for advertising purposes, that doesnt necessarily mean that Google has ceased scanning emails for other purposes. For example, Gmails “Smart Reply feature offers relevant suggestions for quick, canned replies to an email youve received based on the contents of its message.
So if you dont want your email provider to scan or monitor your email messages for advertising or any other purposes, then youll want to send secure emails that effectively keep the contents of those messages private and inaccessible to anyone other than you and the party you are communicating with via email.
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Tips And Tricks To Make Your Gmail More Secure
Gmail is one of the most secure email clients on the planet. This doesnt really come as a surprise since its run by Google, which adds new security features to its products every now and then to protect its users. However, this doesnt mean that you can be complacent and let Gmail and Google handle everything. If you want to protect your sensitive data and avoid being targeted by cyber-criminals, you need to take online security matters into your own hands.
Not sure where to begin? You can start by using the following tips and tricks to secure your Gmail account:
Choose A Secure Email Provider That Has Strong E2ee Encryption
If you want to send emails and email attachments that are protected using reliable encryption such as PGP, the best option is to get an email account with a secure email provider that has a focus on privacy and security.
There are a number of market leading email providers on the market that put privacy and security first, and by subscribing to one of these services, you will have fully integrated means to send encrypted emails and attachments to your contacts in the easiest way possible.
For more information on choosing an email provider that comes set up natively to apply encryption to emails and attachments head over to our mostsecure email providers article or check out our email provider reviews and guidesfor more details.
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Gmail Vs Apple Mail: Addons And Extensions
We also need to talk about the addons and extensions available for both Gmail and Apple Mail. If you know where to look, you can find a handful of extensions to improve Apple Mail on your Mac for example, there are third-party apps that can change how your email attachments appear, improve your contact management, or introduce new keyboard shortcuts. But on iPad and iPhone, modifying the traditional Apple Mail experience is much more challenging.
If youre interested in learning more about the apps, add-ons, and extensions that make Gmail incredible, weve listed our 54 favorites hereand thats just the beginning. Chances are, your favorite project management and communication apps all offer some kind of Gmail integration.
Needless to say, Gmail has the advantage here. Its much more customizable, much more open to other platforms and apps, and therefore has more versatility for the average user.
What Does Encrypted Mean
Humans have been encrypting sensitive information since Roman times. Even though Roman ciphers are a far cry from modern encryption algorithms, they accomplish the same goal: convert information into secret code that hides its true meaning.
Imagine that your inbox is as safe and your emails are important documents that you don’t want anyone else to see. Without email encryption, all that cybercriminals need to do to read the content of your emails is to know the right password to your inbox.
Unfortunately, large-scale data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and there’s a chance that cybercriminals already know the password to your inbox. Even if they don’t, they can attempt to intercept your emails while they’re being delivered.
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Choose Safe Email Passwords
By now, its common knowledge that you need to create strong passwords and update them regularly, but its worth repeating some key ground rules. Its not enough to just use a few numbers or characters, or to make something really long youve got to get creative.
One of the best ways to ensure youre using complex passwords is to use a password manager, which can also help you ensure youre not reusing passwords across multiple websites. For every password you reuse, youre amplifying your risk substantially.
Its also worth noting that you should differentiate your work passwords, and never reuse them for your personal accounts. Website hacks and data breaches happen all the time, exposing users credentials and passwords. It takes just one compromised employee password to wreak havoc on an organizations data, potentially jeopardizing a wealth of your colleagues and customers private information.
Google recommends a password thats at least 12 characters long and doesnt contain any personal information or obvious phrases or keyboard patterns.
Enable S/mime For Google Workspace
S/MIME supports encryption in transit and encrypts your outgoing emails if it can.
But there is one contingency: for S/MIME encryption to work, both the sender and the recipient have to have it enabled.
After S/MIME is enabled, both the sender and the recipient will have to exchange information called keys to uniquely identify each other.
Once you have all that sorted, here is how to use S/MIME to send encrypted messages:
To check if a message you received was encrypted, there are a few more steps to complete:
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How To Easily Encrypt And Track Your Gmail Attachments
Today, more than to conduct important business. Many of these businesses are in industries such as finance, education, media, healthcare and others that require secure email to remain legally compliant with data protection laws or to exchange sensitive information without risking the loss of valuable assets. A companys reputation is one of the most powerful yet fragile assets that can be easily damaged by unintentionally revealing confidential data, especially clients or customers personal information.
Although G Suites email platform Gmail offers email encryption services, it isnt always as secure as you might think. This is because Gmail relies on S/MIME to support encryption and it can only work if both the sender and recipient have it enabled.
This means if you email a recipient who uses another email platform that doesnt use S/MIME you may not be protected. In 2013, cybercriminals gained access to sensitive customer information by hacking 3 billion Yahoo email accounts. Fortunately, with third-party services, you can ensure that your Gmail email messages and attachments are always completely secure.
The Drawbacks To Gmails Approach
If you dont request SMS passcode verification, Confidential mode is a lot less secure. For example, if the email address youre sending your message to has already been compromisedfor example, if the owner has left it logged in on a public computerthen the verification code is virtually useless.
On the other hand, providing a separate mobile number and requiring SMS verification is similar to how two-factor authentication works. Even if the email address has been compromised, without access to the mobile number specified by the sender, the message cannot be accessed.
Unfortunately, Gmails approach is still a far cry from that of truly secure email providers like ProtonMail and Tutanota. Like most email providers, Gmail doesnt encrypt the contents of your inbox on the server. Googles employeesor anyone who accesses your Google accountcan, from a technical perspective, see the message.
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What Else Do I Get
As noted, with some services you start fresh with a brand-new email address. But once you start using that address, once many different merchants and websites have it, it wont stay pristine. That is, unless you never tell anybody your email address.
How can you email without giving away your address? By using a Disposable Email Address service, thats how. Such a service generates a one-off DEA every time you need to give out your address. Messages to that DEA show up in your regular inbox, and replies seem to come from the DEA. And if one of your DEAs starts to get spam or other problems, you can just delete it.
Private-Mail and StartMail can both create and manage DEAs. However, theyre rather limited compared to dedicated DEA utilities such as Burner Mail and ManyMe. Tutanota’s email aliases are even more limited, in that you get just five and can’t change them after creation. Abine Blur goes beyond those two, letting you shop while hiding not only your actual email address but your credit card number and phone number.
With most of these services, you can share a file securely by attaching it to an encrypted message Private-Mail is the exception, as it supports only plain text. It makes up for that lack by giving you encrypted cloud storage, along with the ability to securely share files from your encrypted storage. Preveil also offers cloud storage with secure sharing. A similar ProtonMail feature is now in beta, available to all users.
Best Gmail Alternatives In 2021
Gmail has been dominating the email market thanks to its intuitive interface, near unlimited storage, and a wide range of free productivity tools. However, there are some serious concerns about how Google uses your emails and not everyone loves the Gmail interface, which is why you might want to explore some Gmail alternatives.
If youve been using Gmail for the past decade due to its user-friendliness, you might be surprised how much competitors have improved their services. For instance, many email providers offer a similar browser-based experience and a modern design these days. More importantly, they offer end-to-end encryption and take extra measures to ensure that all your correspondence is kept private.
In this article, well discuss our top five Gmail alternatives that are free and secure. Lets dive right in!
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Do The Security Checkup
Are you 100% sure that your Gmail account hasnt been accessed by other people? If youre not, youll need to take some steps to ensure that it hasnt been hacked.
Start by doing the Security Checkup. Go to My Account, find the Security Checkup section, and click on the Get Started button. Youll be asked to review your recovery information, which will give you the chance to check if the email address and phone number that are stored in the system are yours. If theyre not, you need to remove them and add your own address and number. Dont forget to change your password afterward!
Next, youll be asked to check your connected devices. Ideally, these should show only the laptop, smartphone, tablet, and other devices that you are using. If you see a device thats not yours, click the Something looks wrong button. Gmail will then prompt you to change your password to prevent other people from accessing your account.