Two quick and easy ways to encrypt your emails

Worried that the whole world might read your emails? Do not panic. Most messaging software offers different methods to encrypt its messages. This is enough to respond to hackers and other identity thieves. This guide will tell you how to encrypt your emails.

How email encryption works

In 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the first e-mail. This invention marked the beginning of a new era of communication. At that time, the security and confidentiality of exchanges were not a priority.

With the development of online crime and cyber attacks, digital security has gradually gained importance. Today, email address providers use secure connections (HTTPS). But that’s not enough to fully protect your messages.

Many individuals but also businesses use email to share sensitive data. This makes our daily lives easier, but the threats are real. The encryption of e-mails remains the only way to guarantee the confidentiality of exchanges.

Encryption consists of recovering all the data of your message and then passing them through a mill (encryption algorithm). The content of the email is then completely scrambled in a puzzle style. Only the owner of the key can decrypt it.

The hacker will still be able to intercept your message. But unlike a regular email, the message content is unreadable. The e-mail can only be decrypted by the private key of the recipient of the message which is in a protected place on his computer.

There are currently different email encryption protocols. We thus find S / MIME, PGP, or TLS. The first offers the advantage of being compatible with most email clients like Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, or Thunderbird. Discover in this tutorial how to encrypt your emails with the Tutanota application for Android.

Encrypt emails with Outlook

Do we still have to present Outlook? Microsoft’s messaging software enjoys significant notoriety, particularly among businesses. However, e-mail remains a somewhat old messaging technology. Remember that it was invented over fifty years ago.

Unlike WhatsApp or Signal which benefit from end-to-end encryption, the content of emails remains in plain text readable by all. To put it simply, the level of confidentiality of the email is equivalent to that of a postcard. That is to say, how easy it is for a hacker to access the contents of an email.

Add a digital certificate

Microsoft has an email encryption feature. However, before you start sending secure emails, you will need to have a digital certificate. If you do not have one, you will find below the procedure to create one.

  • Open Outlook software on your computer
  • Click on Files then on Options and Microsoft Outlook Trust Centers
  • Then go to the settings of the Trust Center
  • Under the Email Security tab, click Settings
  • Then follow the instructions displayed on the screen
  • Then open the window for creating a new message
  • Write your email
  • Click on the options button
  • Locate the authorization section then click on sign
  • Select security settings
  • Make sure S / MIME is selected
  • Go to the signing certificate
  • Select your certificate
  • Click encrypt

Please note that the location of the menus varies according to the versions of Outlook used. Email encryption can be done on a case-by-case basis or (by default) for all outgoing messages. Note that Microsoft 365 encryption is only accessible to subscribers.

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