How To Send Encrypted Emails In Gmail
With confidential emails far from secure, it’s a good thing Google allows users to encrypt emails through Gmail with an upgrade to G Suite.
Without G Suite, Gmail uses standard Transport Layer Security encryption that provides a base level of encryption to all outgoing emails. However, it is not end-to-end, so isn’t fully secure, and if someone is using a mail server that does not adhere to TLS protocol, then the message definitely won’t be encrypted.
Features Offered By Gmails Confidential Mode
Confidential emails were introduced to Gmail in 2018. You can send confidential emails on both mobile and desktop. This will provide you with three safety features:
- Message Timer converting your message into a confidential email will allow you to dictate how long the message will sit in the recipient’s inbox.
- Restricted action the recipient will not be able to forward, copy, print or download the email.
- SMS verification the recipient will be unable to open the email without SMS verification.
Turn On Confidential Mode
Click on the confidential mode icon, which is at the bottom mid of the compose email pop-up.
On clicking this icon, a new window will open, asking you to choose your preferences.
It contains the expiration date, and whether you want to put an email passcode or an SMS one. The expiry offers five different options:
- Expires in 1 day.
- Expires in 3 months.
- Expires in 5 years.
In terms of the passcode, you wonât have a choice to have your own Google generates it for you. On choosing âNo SMS Passcosâ, Gmail account holders will receive your message without any passcode, whereas, the others will get an email passcode.
On the other hand, if you choose âSMS passcodeâ, your messageâs receiver will get an SMS passcode on their cell phone. Make sure that you input their correct phone number.
The Gmail confidential mode window looks like this:
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Can Google Read My Emails
Not directly: Googles employees dont have access to your emails and cant read them. However, Googles bots scan your emails to collect more information about you. They use this data to show you relevant content later in ads, YouTube suggestions, search results, etc. You can turn ad personalization off in Ad Settings. It wont stop Googles bots from scanning your emails, but things you discuss in private emails wont show up in ads when you go online.
Does Gmail Offer Encryption
Yes â Gmail uses the standard TLS encryption that automatically encrypts all outgoing emails. However, TLS protocol only works if the recipient also has it. If your friend or colleague is using an email provider that doesn’t offer TLS encryption, all your emails to them will be unencrypted.
Furthermore, TLS does not mean end-to-end encryption. Therefore it can be intercepted in the mail server. Besides, Google can still scan the information in a TLS-encrypted email and give it to third parties. So, it is not a reliable way to send secure emails and attachments.
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Complete The Gmail Security Checklist
For starters, Google provides an easy checklist of steps you should take to secure Gmail. Some of the more interesting steps take advantage of features that most users dont know about, such as the ability to see the IP addresses last used to access your account, so if an unauthorized user is snooping around your inbox, you can see when and where.
Others, however, focus more on preventing your system from being compromised. The Gmail security checklist urges users to adopt best security practices, such as making sure your operating system and apps are up to date.
How Does Google Protect Messages
Google encrypts your Gmail messages through a method termed Transport Layer Security or TLS.
The messages you send will stay encrypted as long as the receiver is also using an email service with TLS, which is often the case with the majority of the email service providers.
However, once the email has been received by the receiver, the encryption ends, which means there isnât a guarantee that your message will stay private.
Even Google goes through it to check for spam and phishing attacks.
In addition to this, if your emailâs receiver doesnât have TLS, then your message wonât be encrypted at all, which means, you wonât have the guarantee that someone else canât access your message while it travels from your email account to your receiverâs email account.
Google tackles this issue with an advanced level of encryption called Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or S/MIME.
However, this feature isnât available for free Google Workspace Suite accounts. In simple words, you wonât be able to use S/MIME, if you have a regular free Gmail account.
Thereâs a lot of talk about Googleâs end-to-end encryption, but so far there hasnât been any progress.
Some analysts believe that itâs just mere talk. However, Gmail does have confidential mode.
Hereâs what that means for your encrypted email attachments.
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How To Encrypt Email In Outlook
Just like Gmail, Outlook.com uses TLS encryption to protect the connection with a recipient’s mail service provider. The problem with TLS is that it protects messages only while they’re in transit and doesn’t guarantee that they’ll stay encrypted after they reach the recipient’s service provider.
Microsoft implemented its own Outlook email encryption system, which ensures that your messages always remain encrypted and don’t leave Microsoft’s servers. Outlook email encryption is available to Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscribers, and it could hardly be any easier to use.
To send an encrypted email message in Outlook.com:
Outlook.com users can read encrypted email messages just like regular messages. The users of third-party mail services receive a message with instructions for how to read the encrypted message.
How To Encrypt Emails In Gmail
Gmail already has S/MIME built into the app, but it only works if both the sender and receiver have it enabled.
When changing the encryption levels note these color codes:
Green Information is protected by S/MIME encryption and can only be decrypted with a private key.
Gray The email is protected with TLS . This only works if both the sender and recipient have TLS capabilities.
Red The email has no encryption security.
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When Does It Make Sense To Send Encrypted Mail
Some people still associate encryption in general with government spies and shadowy hackers who must protect their identity to escape the law. In reality, encrypted mail has become a modern necessity because billions of people around the world use email to send and receive sensitive information, such as bank account statements, business documents, and personal correspondence.
The problem is that email users often forget or dont realize that email was never meant to play such an important role in our lives and be used to transfer sensitive information. Instead, it was intended to facilitate messaging between people who more or less knew one another, so data security and privacy werent important priorities of emails original creators.
When you send unencrypted messages over the internet, you risk having your personal information stolen or exposed by an opportunistic cybercriminal, and only email encryption can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that nobody can read your messages.
As such, it makes sense to encrypt as many emails as possible and use the most robust email encryption method available. Ideally, you want your email encryption to be applied automatically each time you send a message to eliminate the possibility of you forgetting to apply it yourself.
What Is An Encrypted Email
Encryption of an email message means that the ordinary plain text is encoded using a special key code. Only the recipient can decrypt the message for reading. Any other person connot decipher the text. The tasks of messages encryptions are:
- To protect the content of already received and prepared for sending letters from outside eyes.
- To protect the letters from being intercepted and read while being transferring.
Currently, there are various solutions for email encryption and now we are going to share them.
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How To Send Secure Email Attachments In Gmail
Gmail is one of the most popular email providers in the world â it has over a billion active users. However, a very small percentage of them ever consider how unsafe it is.
It’s common knowledge that Google scans its users’ emails to collect data about them and give it to advertisers. Most people consider it to be inevitable and not particularly dangerous. But not a lot of Gmail users realize that their emails in transit can get intercepted by third parties.
There are a few ways to make your emails more secure. Gmail offers a few options, and there are third-party apps and extensions out there that offer some form of encryption. However, their services donât always work as users would expect them to.
Your business, personal, and financial information is constantly at risk of being leaked â whether on purpose or accidentally. Learn how you can protect it and send secure email attachments in Gmail.
How Does An Encrypted Email Work
Email encryption works through a Public Key Infrastructure which combines a private key and a public key to encrypt the email.
The sender uses a public key to encrypt the email, but the recipient will require a unique private key to decrypt the message into readable format.
Heres how it works.
- Both the sender and the receiver create a public key and a private key from their end and send each other the public keys.
- The sender uses the receivers public key to encrypt the message and sends it.
- The receiver uses their private key to decrypt the email and make the message readable.
An email sent in this manner remains private, and its contents are protected from prying eyes. You can send sensitive information like social security numbers and bank account details without worrying about their safety.
Security is a guarantee in end-to-end email encryption as it comes with a digital signature to authenticate you as the email sender. This layer of protection disqualifies the possibility of a hacker sending or tampering with the message.
With Gmail, there are other methods of encrypting an email, but they do not offer end-to-end encryption. This means that the message can be read or tampered with while on transit. For example, Google checks through all emails sent through their emailing service to help them spot phishing attacks and other malicious content. No wonder its able to suggest possible replies to emails you receive.
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How To Protect Your Gmail From Prying Eyes With Encryption
3 May 2021 – 8min. read
Gmail has been around since 2004 and is also one of the most popular email providers. But have you heard that others can potentially read your emails? Yes, and to prevent that, Gmail introduced email encryption to secure your emails.
Gmail is one of the favorites among other email providers. Its a free web-based email service introduced by Google, allowing people to exchange messages via email. And in this tutorial, youll learn how to encrypt any emails you send and read them in Gmail.
How To Send Encrypted Emails On Outlook
Outlook.com users with Office 365 Home or Personal subscriptions can encrypt and prevent the forwarding of email messages in Outlook.
This lets you send and share confidential messages, especially if you don’t trust the recipientâs ESP to be secure.
The encryption feature is available on the ribbon alongside the âSendâ and âAttachâ buttons where youâre composing your message.
âSo, how do you send encrypted messages and prevent forwarding emails with Outlook?
Letâs take a look:
Step 1: Open up your Outlook email.
Step 2: Click “New“> Then open the âComposeâ message to start writing a new email.
Step 3: Add your recipientâs email address and compose a message or attach a file for them.
âStep 4: Before you hit send, navigate to the ribbon > Select the âEncryptâ drop-down button > âEncrypt and Prevent Forwarding.â
âStep 5: Youâll get a message saying your email is encrypted and cannot be forwarded. Finally, hit âSend.â
Now, on the recipient’s side, if you’re using Microsoft 365 or Outlook.com using the Outlook mobile app, Mail app in Windows 10, or Outlook.comâs website, then youâll just go ahead and read the message the usual way.
For those using Outlook for Mac, Windows, or third-party email apps, you will first get a link redirecting you to how you can open/read the message.
Canceling Access On Android Devices
Step #1: Open the Gmail App on your Android Device
Step #2: Click on the three vertical lines on the top-left corner and choose Sent
Step #3: Tap on the email for which you wish to cancel access
Step #4: On the bottom, you will find the Remove Access option
Remember that the expiration date and the passcode would apply to both the emails content and the email attachments. if you choose to send the passcode by SMS, then make it a point to enter the recipients phone number and save it. Most people wrongly enter their own mobile numbers, which is the wrong way of doing things. It is the recipient who needs the passcode to access the encrypted email and its contents.
Despite all the caution, you cannot ignore the fact that the recipient can still take screenshots of the email or attachments in the encrypted email and print them out. So, before using encrypted emails, you need to think about these possibilities.
How To Encrypt Messages In Gmail For Business
Google for Business, commonly known as GSuite, comes with a variety of encryption options. One of those is S/MIME, an encryption protocol that encrypts emails with user-specific keys, so they remain protected during delivery. They can only be decrypted and read by your intended readers.
For S/MIME to work, both you and your recipient must enable it in your GSuite accounts. GSuite automatically encrypts your emails with this method when your account and the destination allow for it.
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How To Send Encrypted Emails Via Outlook
If you use Outlook, youll be happy to know that the email service offers encryption features as a way of heightening your online security. Outlook offers two encryption options: Encrypt, and Encrypt and Prevent Forwarding.
The Encrypt option ensures that your messages dont leave Microsoft 356. If the recipient is using a different email account or provider, you can set up a password for them to use when accessing your message.
The Encrypt and Prevent Forwarding option does exactly what it suggests. Your recipients will be prevented from copying or forwarding any messages you send. Additionally, any Microsoft Office attachments, like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel documents, will remain encrypted even after being downloaded. However, PDFs and other image files will be downloadable without any encryption in place.
Heres how to enable encryption in Outlook: