6 Best Free Email Encryption Software

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6 Best Free Email Encryption Software

One cannot stress enough, the importance of encrypting your email. It is the only way to ensure that the information you thought you were secretly relaying to the recipient, is actually kept private from hackers and other interceptors. Techspirited brings to you a list of the top free software for email encryption that you can download so as to keep your correspondences secure.

Why Should You Encrypt Your Email?

If an email being exchanged between two parties is intercepted and read, the contents of that email can be easily understood by the hacker if the message was sent in plain text, i.e., without any encryption. Had the message been encrypted, the interceptor would only see gibberish in place of the content, unless he or she possesses the decryption key for the message (which is obviously unlikely, as the email was intercepted on the way to the intended recipient).Hence, encryption serves to keep your emails private, away from snooping eyes.

Encryption is a fascinating and handy utility that helps to keep your files or your communication sessions with other devices secure so that no intruder can have access to them. The basic principle behind encryption is surprisingly simple.

The file or message is scrambled with the help of a code or key. The recipient knows what code was used to jumble it up and can thus, use the same key to unscramble or unlock the message. Anyone with a different key (or no key at all) will only end up scrambling the message further and will be looking at a collection of letters and numbers that make no logical sense.

encryption key

Hence, if you wish to send files that are of financial, legal, business-related, or medical related, or are confidential for any other reason, electronically, which you would obviously wish to protect from hackers, you should encrypt your email. However, if you encrypt only that one email that is truly private, and send emails regularly otherwise in plain text, you will end up unintentionally drawing attention to the fact, that the particular email message contents are of sensitive nature and inadvertently, you will be inviting intruders to hack your email account.

The wiser thing to do, if you will be sending confidential email out too, once in a while, is to encrypt all the emails that you send. In this case, a hacker would never be able to guess which of your emails contains the information you want to protect, and he or she would consider the time and effort that goes into deciphering each and every message, a waste.

When it comes to popular email providers whose services are used by most people, such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and so on, or even if an email client software, such as Outlook is being used, yes, they do make sure that when a user logs on to their servers, that connection is encrypted, and hence secure, but neither of them encrypt outgoing emails sent using their email accounts.

To encrypt email, one needs to use online services or download certain software. There are many types of encryption software, and while some are free, others are chargeable. We have compiled a list of the top 6 free email encryption software.

The Best Free Email Encryption Software

1 Infoencrypt ✉

☞ For a person who does not wish to download an entire software for the purpose of encrypting their email, and just wants to add security to their messages on-the-go, Infoencrypt is an excellent option, because it is browser-based.

☞ There is no need to make an account with a username, password, and other details; on this website, there is a javascript text interface, where one can enter their email’s contents, and can receive the encrypted counterpart of it instantly.

☞ You need to specify a password, that is used to associate the message to its key by this software. The recipient can unlock the contents of the email by copy-pasting the same encrypted text at the same place, on this very website, and entering the password you set, as the key.

☞ This software uses a symmetric encryption algorithm, and implements the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128, and uses a random initialization vector. The key is determined by Password-Based Key Derivation Function (PBKDF)2. This ensures that the text cannot be decrypted without both the correct password, as well as a mechanism that follows these exact standards.

☞ Users need to ensure that they do not reveal the password to the recipient through an unsecured medium (for example, in the same or subsequent email).

☞ Also, this service can only help secure the text-based content of the emails, and not attachments and other aspects of the email being sent.

☞ To visit the official website,click here.

2 Mailvelope ✉

Mailvelope is a software that uses the asymmetric public-key encryption, and follows OpenPGP standards, the open-source privacy standard for encryption worldwide, which is compatible with all kinds of email.

☞ It has been primarily designed to encrypt web-based email, and has pre-configurations to enable its smooth working with all major web email providers, like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and the like, and can also be configured to work with any others.

☞ It can be downloaded as a sort-of web browser plug-in (for example, as an app from the Chrome Store, or a Firefox Add-on from addons.mozilla.com), and smoothly attaches itself to the regular practice of sending an email.

☞ It is a very secure service, as it encrypts the entire session, and thus does not even allow data to leave the browser. The only vulnerability of this software is that it does not support encryptions of email attachments.

☞ To visit the official website, click here.

3 Enigmail ✉

☞ Users of email clients Mozilla Thunderbird and Seamonkey, can use this amazing utility optimized for the very purpose of optimizing email encryption. It is a software that follows OpenPGP standards, for public-key encryption and signing of email messages.

☞ It uses GNU Privacy Guard (open-source cryptographic software with a General Public License, that provides Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)) to implement the cryptographic aspect of the encryption. GNU Privacy Guard does not come with the software, and needs to be installed separately.

☞ The best part about using Enigmail is that it also encrypts and decrypts email attachments.

☞ To visit the official website,click here.

4 Hushmail ✉

Hushmail is not just an encryption service for email, but an email provider entirely. There are different kinds of accounts that one can sign up for. An individual can open a free account with 25 MB of free storage, or a charged subscription with more allowance. Users with business accounts can avail of a whole host of additional benefits, including POP3 or IMAP email downloading of email on a desktop client.

☞ Emails sent and received between Hushmail users are automatically encrypted and decrypted, as public keys of all Hushmail user accounts are known to the software.

☞ For an encrypted message sent to an email address with a different domain name, senders have to specify a password, which will be used to identify the recipient. The sender also provides a hint to help the recipient.

Hushmail uses OpenPGP standards for encryption, with a 2048-bit key.

☞ To visit the official website, click here.

5 Gpg4win ✉

☞ Installation of Gpg4win (only for Windows) will grant you a whole suite of free, open-source software that follow OpenPGP standards, including one that can encrypt and digitally sign your email sent using Outlook.

☞ The official distribution of GNU Privacy Guard for Windows, this software is completely free and is licensed with a GNU General Public License.

☞ For Mac users, GNU Suite is a software suite with the same functionality.

☞ One of the software included in Gpg4win―Kleopatra―is designed to manage and assign certificates to your documents and even email. It is a user-friendly service that allows you to organize certificates, and coordinate with servers (to import and export keys) efficiently.

☞ This software works for all versions of Windows, right from Windows XP, up to Windows 8. The plug-in for Outlook that allows you to encrypt your email, is compatible with any 32-bit version. It is universal and is also available in German.

☞ Apart from your email, this software allows you to sign and encrypt almost any kind of file present on your computer.

☞ To visit the official website, click here.

6 Comodo Free Email Certificate ✉

☞ Developed by Comodo Inc. is a company dedicated to internet security that can boast of products like Antivirus software, SSL certificates, etc. The Comodo Free Email Certificate is a service that allows you to encrypt and digitally sign your email for free if you are an individual, and at a minimal cost if you are a corporate user.

☞ It creates a secure email certificate that protects your email from any prying eyes, and also maintains its authenticity in terms of validating your authorship as well as protecting the content.

☞ It is easy to install and works as a plug-in for almost every major email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.). To install it, users need to sign up for an account with Comodo.

☞ To visit the official website, click here.

So, do not ignore the benefits of email encryption, nor underestimate the risks of not doing so. We hope that from the many reliable, lightweight, free, and open-source (meaning they will never stop being developed, so as to bring you maximum security) options to choose from, you will locate the one that you find most comfortable to use, and you are able to protect all your files and conversations.

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