Privacy is a big issue in the current digital dispensation.
People and businesses try to secure their data and sensitive information from getting into the hands of hackers, spies, and others who may use it for all the wrong reasons.
Among the things people want to keep private is not just their online activity such as websites they visit and stuff they watch and buy. Also, there are their email messages.
There’s nothing as devastating as knowing that your email account has been hacked. You don’t even know who has gained access into your account, or what they will do once they take hold of it.
Most times, the hackers send out messages using your email and defraud your contacts under the guise of your name, while others seek money in return.
Email accounts are among the worst that can be hacked, because once someone gains access.
Therefore, they can reset your passwords from your social media profiles to bank accounts, and others. This is the case especially if you use one password for everything.
This is why having the best email privacy software is good, besides having a strong and unique password.
Check out 5 of our top favorite email privacy software which will help you secure your email account with encryption, auto self-destruction, anonymity, and much more.
Also, they work with your existing email accounts, but there are those that need a new email address.
This email privacy software was founded in 2013 by Bjarni Einarsson, Smari McCarthy and Brennan Novak. It is available for free, and you don’t have to have an account to use it.
However, if you’d like to send an encrypted email to someone else, you (the user) has to have the recipient’s public key as this tool operates with private-public key cryptography.
Among its features is multi-platform support including Windows, and you can download it to your computer, but it only functions as an email client, not email server.
This means you can read write and send emails, compared to email servers which receive emails from the client, and transmit them to recipients – they list users and store emails.
Your email is stored in encrypted form, and you can search through your emails as the same way you would with your regular email provider.
It also lets you store emails on a USB storage, in cloud or on your computer, but you need to have a computer or server running it to check your emails. It also doesn’t issue email addresses.
Founded in 2011 by Matthias Pfau and Arne Mohle, this free email privacy software, which comes with 1GB of storage, doesn’t require you to have an account.
If you want to send an encrypted message to a recipient who doesn’t use Tutanota, you’ll need a password to decrypt it and communicate the same to the recipient.
The recipient will receive a link to Tutanota’s website where the password is entered to decrypt the email message.
Tutanota has servers located in Germany and is open source, but unlike other secure email services.
It encrypts not only the messages, but also subject lines, and attachments, with end-to-end encryption meaning the messages are encrypted from the time you send them to when they’re received.
You need not install the software, plus you can use it the same way you use your regular mail.
Still, you have to use tutanota.de email addresses, though the developers are working on adding more domains.
You can pay to use your own domain names too.
The downside is this email privacy software has no way to recover lost passwords.
This email privacy software is available for free with 500 MB storage, though paid accounts come with 1GB storage, but you don’t need an account to use it.
If you need to send encrypted messages to a non ProtonMail user, you’ll also need to have a password that decrypts the message and share this with the recipient.
It will receive a link to the website where they’ll enter the password and decrypt the email.
The good thing about ProtonMail is it is easy to use and doesn’t need any installation.
Its servers are in Switzerland, which means they cannot create a backdoor to give access to any government authority so your data is sage.
ProtonMail also has no access to decrypted data or decryption passwords so even if they were asked to give out your data, they can only give it in encrypted form.
Additionally, all messages are stored and transmitted when they’re encrypted.
Your user account is also anonymous, plus you don’t need to share personal details to have an account, and your user activity and metadata are not stored in ProtonMail.
You can also set your messages to self-destruct, even for messages sent to non ProtonMail users.
However, ProtonMail servers usually reach capacity, when they do, they’re not open to more users until they can be accommodated.
If you forget your password, it cannot be restored for you, in which case you have to create a new account or reset it and lose all stored emails.
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This is another free email privacy software, founded in 2012, and also doesn’t require you to have an account to use it.
To send encrypted emails, you also need a public key of the recipient, or your own private encryption key to decrypt the message.
Among the notable features is its open source cryptography, security audits, easy installation as a browser extension for Chrome or Mozilla. It works with existing email providers like Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo! Mail among others.
You also get a three-digit security token with a color generated when installing the software, so if you use an incorrect digit or color, users know the service isn’t safe.
The downside is you cannot recover lost passwords, and cannot check mails on a third-party computer.
You have to write messages on a separate window before encrypting them so that the email provider doesn’t have access to the message.
Thunderbird and Enigmail
Thunderbird is a free email app that allows you to receive and send encrypted emails that only you and the recipient can read by using the Enigmail plugin.
This email privacy software makes email better, faster and safer for you.
At its heart is an open source development process driven by thousands of developers and security experts across the globe.
Features include a mail account setup wizard with which you need to know your IMAP, SMTP and SSL/TLS settings.
It will then give your name, email address and password. After that, the mail wizardry will find your email settings for you.
Also included is personalized email addresses, a one-click address book, attachment reminder that looks for attachments and reminds you to add before hitting send.
Also, it has multiple-channel chat to enjoy real time conversations with your contacts, tabbed emails, web search without leaving Thunderbird, Quick filter toolbar to filter emails faster, search tools, and messaging archive among others.
In terms of security, Thunderbird offers support for privacy and remote image protection, blocking remote images in emails.
Other features include the phishing protection, automated updates of the system, and spam filtering to keep out the junk mail.
Did your favorite email privacy software make the list? Share yours with us in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.