The popularity of encrypted email and messaging services has exploded in recent weeks amid protests against police brutality and racism and attempts from Congress to poke holes in it.
So maybe it’s time to brush up on the best ways to send an encrypted email.
Encrypted emails are a way for senders to ensure that their message is protected until it reaches the receiver. But, recently, several bills have popped up with the goal of making it easier for law enforcement to get access to encrypted emails.
The EARN IT Act and the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act have been criticized for aiming to force a back door to encrypted messages or making it easier for law enforcement to gain access to encrypted data.
The new proposed back doors potentially makes encrypted emails and other messages vulnerable to not only police, but also hackers.
Meanwhile, people have sought out ways to send encrypted messages to try and circumvent law enforcement’s surveillance of protests.
For now, encryption remains the safest way to protect emails from unwanted readers.
Here are the best third-party services to send encrypted emails.
Seven ways to send an encrypted email
This free encryption extension is available for most major email providers including Gmail and other Google Apps, Outlook, and Yahoo.
Once added, the encryption feature will appear in the email interface.
Mailvelope says on their site that even the email provider does not have access to encrypted emails through their service.
ProtonMail is one of the most popular encryption services that allows for end-to-end and PGP encryption. End-to-end encryption is a system commonly used on messaging applications which only allows for the communicators to see messages.
There are free and paid plans available on ProtonMail for Android and Apple products. There is also a browser version of ProtonMail.
There are additional features like two-step verification and phishing alerts. Phishing is a form of hacking that disguises emails as coming from a secure sender like a bank.
ProtonMail attaches to individual domains also so any person or businesses can encrypt their own emails.
Sendinc is a free platform that allows users to send encrypted emails directly on site.
While the Sendinc has an Outlook plug-in, the stand alone site is also good for users that want to send the occasional protected email.
The site looks like a form that requests user’s email address, recipient address, subject and message.
Tutanota is a niche email provider that claims to rival Gmail. The German-based company built automatic encryption directly into their service.
Pricing ranges from free to paid plans for larger businesses and storage spaces.
In addition to encrypted emails, Tutanota includes encrypted notes, calendar and cloud storage.
Hushmail is another email provider that encrypts emails at its core. Users can send an encrypted email by checking the ‘Encrypted’ box below the subject line to a recipient of any email provider.
Like many of the other third-party encryption services Hushmail uses PGP encryption.
Also, the service provides two-step verification and encourages strong passwords on its site for added security.
MIT computer scientists created Preveil as a third-party plug-in for Gmail, Outlook and iOS email providers. The end-to-end encryption service is free with additional paid plans
An encryption toggle will appear at the bottom of the email interface once added.
Preveil also prevents phishing and other hacking attacks via email by not saving encryption keys. So if an email account is compromised, the encrypted emails remain protected.
Virtru is another plug-in for major email providers. The service is free for existing Gmail and Outlook users. Other customers can set up paid plans. Companies like Netflix use Virtru, according to their website.
The security service is based of off end-to-end encryption. Encryption covers emails as well as files.