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  • Writer's pictureSchwalm Tech

What is Email Encryption and Why is it Important?

When sending emails or any communications through the internet, your privacy and the privacy of your information should always be a top priority. Email encryption ensures that your messages are secure and protected.

Hands on Keyboard creating email encryption with Schwalm Technologies in Camp Hill PA

Email Encryption Definition

Email Encryption is the disguising of email content to protect information from being read or accessed by anyone other than the recipient.

It is essential to encrypt all messages, not only messages with sensitive information. Encrypting all communications ensures that even in the case of a hacked email account, your messages, URLs, and attachments cannot be accessed or collected.

Types of Email Encryption

There are various types of email encryption available with various levels of security. Some encryption methods still allow for possible attacks due to unencrypted portions of the message sending process. The two most common protocols for email encryption are TLS encryption and end-to-end encryption.

TLS Encryption

TLS, or Transport Layer Security, is the most commonly used encryption protocol and is used by large email providers like Google and Microsoft. TLS is applied by default and can protect emails from MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks where a message is read in transit to the recipient. With the increase of security through TLS encryption, MITM attacks were significantly reduced in the last 20 years.

With TLS encryption, however, the message is only secured through transit. The data itself remains unencrypted and is visible to servers. This process creates vulnerability to attacks if the hacker can get through the encryption and view the message in plain text. In the past, email providers such as Google have also used their ability to view messages through servers as a way to serve relevant ads to users.

End to End Encryption

End-to-end encryption makes sure that the communication is encrypted when leaving the sender’s device and decrypted when it reaches the recipient’s device. This type of encryption is done using public and private keys. A message is encrypted by the sender using the recipient’s public key, and the message is decrypted using the recipient’s private key on their device. Servers have no access to the data within the message. This method provides the highest form of email security.

If an attacker accessed a server that stored end-to-end encrypted data, they would be unable to view the information. This encryption method only decrypts the message once it reaches the recipient.

Choosing The Right Encryption Method

There are various ways to use email encryption to secure your communications and data. Choosing the suitable method of email encryption can seem like an overwhelming task, but we are available to help you make the right call for your business needs. No matter what you are using your email and communication services for, proper cybersecurity is vital to keeping your data safe. To learn more about email encryption for your business, get in touch with us today.


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