Sending financial, health and other sensitive information over the internet is like sending postcards in the snail mail. From the time you hit send to the time it is received in the other person’s mailbox anyone can read your messages.
Once in the email-provider mailbox (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Comcast…) they can read the email and provide you ads based on the content. Who wants that? For those reasons and more, I recommend getting a separate email for sensitive content.
- Emailing your family about health issues? Encrypt them.
- Banking/investments/tax data in your emails? Encrypt them.
- Receiving legal correspondence? Encrypt it.
- Communicating about a surprise birthday party? Why not encrypt it?
I’m using the free https://protonmail.com/ for my encrypted emails. Emails from ProtonMail user to another ProtonMail user are encrypted. You can even encrypt emails to non-ProtonMail users using a password (a link to log into ProtonMail will be sent to the recipient and they will just enter the password you gave them).
There are mobile versions of ProtonMail for all your mobile devices and it supports two-factor/step sign-in.
Is it perfect? Maybe not but it SIGNIFICANTLY lowers the techie-ness that someone needs to encrypt their emails to others. It is easy and it works well enough.
In these times of prying eyes, let’s all make it more challenging to exploit our sensitive emails.
[Postcard image from http://www.chicagopostcardmuseum.org/images/greetings_from_chicago/Greetings_from_Chicago_03_B.png]