encrypted email meaning

Encrypted Email Meaning

In an attempt to define encrypted email we can say email encryption is simply protecting an email. An email message can be protected by giving an email a password to keep the email from being read by anyone other than the intended recipient. When this is done, we can say the email is encrypted.

As PC World points out, it’s not just those who may email sensitive information that need to encrypt their emails. Hackers can gain unauthorized access and even hijack your entire account if they get ahold of any personal data you send in an email.

You can’t be too careful about email. Even if you send it over a secure network, someone may intercept your login credentials.


Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Threats

SecurityStudio help information security leaders at organizations ensure they’re protected against cybersecurity threats, stay insurable, and legally defensible with our risk assessment and risk management software. Schedule a demo to learn how we can help.


What Should be Encrypted: Email Encryption

PC World recommends three things to encrypt:

  • The email provider that you use
  • Your actual email messages
  • Your old email messages

Encrypting the connection prevents unauthorized users on your network from intercepting and capturing login credentials or email messages as they travel around the Internet.

Encrypting email messages before they’re sent means that even if a hacker should intercept your emails, the message is unreadable and useless.

If you have a Microsoft Outlook account, hackers can still gain access to your emails even if they are encrypted.

What Does it Mean to Encrypt an Email

The Symantec 2019 Internet Security Threat Report says that smaller companies are being targeted more often by malicious emails, with one in 323 of them a target.

Both SSL and TLS are application-layer protocols that allow the communication channel between two computers to be encrypted. The protocol encrypts a computer’s information.

Basically, to send and receive emails, you need a client that can make contact with the server. This is done through TCP or Transmission Control Protocol.

The handshake is when the email client tries to communicate with an email server so they can start sending emails. SSL and TLS are kind of interchangeable, but the only difference between them is which version you’re using.

Once they’ve “shaken hands,” the server will verify the client’s identity by sending a certificate to them verifying their authenticity. This also verifies that it is trusted by your software.

This also helps make sure that the emails are going to who they’re supposed to, and it also allows two people from different companies with encryption keys for email correspondence.

TLS and SSL are application layer protocols, so both the sender and recipient need to know that they’re being used in order for it to work.

How Secure is Encrypted Email?

What does email encryption do?

A personal email certificate is one way to protect your emails from spam. Personal certificates sign all of the messages you send, which lets recipients know if they were really sent by you.

Email encryption usually relies on a Public Key Infrastructure or PKI, in most cases. A public key is used to encrypt messages and only the person with the corresponding private key can decrypt them.

Encrypting only the emails containing sensitive information is a bad idea because it points hackers to exactly what they are looking for.

When you encrypt all email messages as a standard practice, hackers wishing to access your personal information have a more difficult time gaining it. Decrypting just one message is an arduous task that even the most dedicated hacker may not see as worth their trouble.


Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Threats

SecurityStudio help information security leaders at organizations ensure they’re protected against cybersecurity threats, stay insurable, and legally defensible with our risk assessment and risk management software. Schedule a demo to learn how we can help.