Email security: What and why encrypted email is important
Millions of messages get sent over the internet daily. Many of these messages are casual conversations between friends. But some contain sensitive information that is then sent through unsecured, not encrypted email.
When cyber attackers intercept an unsecured email that contains sensitive information about a person or a company, this can be used for blackmail or to impersonate a person and destroy their reputation. Sending sensitive information over not encrypted email can be deadly in the wrong hands.
What is encrypted email ?
Encrypted email is one of the cyber protection systems that a company or person can use to keep sensitive information away from hackers.
A message containing sensitive information is masked by an encryption program. Only the person who has the decryption program will be able to unmask the message. Encrypted email is safe during transit from sender to receiver because a third party cannot read the message even if they intercept it.
People who do not understand what is encrypted email tend to undervalue its importance and how it can prevent damage to them and their network.
What is encrypted email ? – Why encrypt email?
The practice of encrypting email should not only be done by big banks and organizations that deal with sensitive information. Even company employees and managers should take this into practice whenever they send a message over the internet.
One reason for this is because there are hundreds of cyber attackers ready to intercept emails passing through the internet. Once your unsecured email is intercepted through man-in-the-middle hacks or DNS hijacking, your information is exposed to the hacker. They can then use your information to impersonate you.
Another reason you should use encrypted email is because your email could end up in the inbox of another person rather than your intended recipient. Typographical and other forms of human error could cause your email to end up in the inbox of the wrong person. If you’re sending a confidential attachment or a secret to your best friend, it becomes exposed if you don’t use encrypted email.
What is encrypted email ? – Why encrypted email can prevent a large-scale hack
To hackers, intercepting unsecured emails can be weaponized. If they can intercept your email and read it, they can easily alter your message and insert a malware that will infect your recipient’s device. Vice versa, hackers can also alter replies to you and inject malware into your device.
Once they have access to your inbox through malware, they can gain information about you. They can then use your identity and email to further infect your contacts, leading to a large-scale attack. Using mail encryption can prevent them from doing any of this.
What is encrypted email ? – Conclusion
Unfortunately, people fail to see how valuable their email is to hackers and how vulnerable they are once their unsecured email is intercepted by hackers. If you’re not using encrypted email yet, now is a good time to start.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.