Best Secure Email Provider To Protect Your Privacy in 2020

Are you a very private person that is often wondering whether your emails and attachments are safe from prying eyes? Unless you’re subscribing to a secure email provider that respects your privacy, it is very likely that unwanted eyes are peeking into your inbox.

In fact, most large email providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo have very little respect for your privacy. There were a few past cases that have made many users second-guessing their choice to go with these large corporations:

  • Gmail was caught giving third parties complete access to their user emails. These third parties even have the ability to track all your purchases and gather information.
  • Advertisers are actually allowed to scan Yahoo and AOL accounts to help identify and segment potential customers based on their email content.
  • Yahoo was even caught scanning emails in real-time under the instructions of US surveillance agencies.

Other than the service provider, you’ll also need to take a good look at where your email service is located. Different countries have different laws that may affect your data and privacy online. Some jurisdictions like Switzerland have strong data protection laws to protect user privacy while others like the US have laws in place to erode it.

Whether you’re wanting to share something confidential and well-protected or just don’t want service providers to scan your email to serve you ads, it is best to seek a good secure email service provider to protect your privacy and email security. Today we will go into the top 10 secure email service providers available in this article to help you find the right one for the job.

Factors In Choosing the Best Secure Email Service

With so many different users looking for different features, there is no one “best-for-all” solution that is the top choice for everyone. While some may prioritize maximum security and encryption, others may just prefer a convenient and simple user interface that is compatible with all devices.

In any case, below are a few factors that you’ll need to take note of before switching to a new secure email provider:

Jurisdiction

As mentioned earlier, you need to take a good look into where the service is located and how local laws may affect user privacy. It is also important to look into where the service provider actually stores your data. Are they physically stored in a privacy-loving country?

Here are some reasons for users to pay attention to jurisdiction.

United States (a member of the Five Eyes)

Tech companies located in the US are required to comply with the country’s extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information and can be forced to open access for government agencies.

These data requests are also frequently accompanied by gag orders which forbid the company from disclosing or informing users on what is going on.

There have been a few known cases where US email providers are forced to give up data. Lavabit even decided to shut down their business rather than give up user data, while another email provider, Riseup was also forced to hand over data to the authorities.

Germany (Member of the Fourteen Eyes)

While Germany has long been a rock-solid jurisdiction for privacy enthusiast, there has been some troubling news as of late, such as:

German court rules that Posteo is required to log IP addresses if required by a valid court order. However, Posteo explained that they would not change their systems to log all users’ IP addresses, but would only comply for specific users if ordered by the court.

Another German court ruling case also forced Tutanota to provide real-time access to unencrypted emails for specific users. As Tutanota also explained, only unencrypted messages are sent which would be affected, so those that are encrypted are still securely protected by the company.

PGP Support

Some email providers support PGP. However, there are a few companies that choose to not use PGP as they find that this service comes with many vulnerabilities and weaknesses that may impact a user’s privacy and email security.

While PGP is generally considered a trustworthy, secure encryption method, there have been several flaws that PGP has made headlines. While the news attracted lots of attention, these “flaws” were mainly due to the incorrect implementation of the PGP system by third parties. This system should not really affect the big secure email providers that are provided in today’s article.

Another fundamental issue with adopting secure email is that very few users want to go through the hassle of PGP key management, encryption, decryption, etc. However, many providers have resolved this issue by offering automatic and seamless encryption services with built-in AES encryption. These companies also work to provide a secure, two-way communication contact.

Import Feature

Not every secure email service is created the same. Some have convenient features that let you import all your existing emails and contacts and keep them encrypted in their servers, while others may not have this function. So, you’ll need to check out their features to see if you have the option to import your inbox if it’s something you care about.

Email Apps

Due to strong encryption, many secure email services cannot be used with third-party email clients. However, some service providers have come up with dedicated apps to offer clients to work with those outside of their service subscription.

Encryption

If you’re a privacy enthusiast, you likely want to find out if the service providers offer end-to-end encryption in transit for your emails. And you’ll also want to know if these emails along with their attachments are encrypted at rest in the company’s servers.

Features

For those who love a little more customization and the option to tweak some settings, you can look for email providers that have added features such as contacts, calendars, file storage, inbox search, collaboration tools, and support for DAV services.

Security

You need to research each secure email service provider’s security standards and policies to fully understand how it will impact users. Are they securely encrypted or are they actually open to being served with malicious codes out to get you?

Privacy

Take a good long look and find out how the email service work to protect your privacy. What data is being collected and how long is it kept for? Most claim to respect your privacy but in reality, they may be the ones feeding their third-party clients your information.

Threat Model

You need to closely evaluate just how much privacy and security do you really need to determine the right service to best fit your needs. All secure service providers are not created equal and have different features and functionality for you to pick from.

Top Secure Email Providers

Without further ado, here is the list of top secure email providers to meet all your needs.

1. ProtonMail

ProtonMail is one of the top-most-rated secure email providers available on the market right now. Not only does it provide a secure email messaging service, but it even offers users the ability for quick and easy setup that ensures customers stay safe from email scammers.

ProtonMail is a subsidiary of ProtonVPN and is based in Switzerland. Switzerland is one of the top countries with a great reputation among the privacy community. ProtonMail was founded by a team of academics working at MIT and CERN in 2014 to create an email system that even NSA cannot access.

Moving onto the service offered, ProtonMail gets plenty of things right. It uses the PGP encryption standard for email and works to store all your messages and attachments encrypted at rest on servers in Switzerland.

Additionally, ProtonMail has a unique self-destruct messages feature that lets you specify an expiration time for an email to self-destruct. Other than that, the email service provider includes address verification and full PGP support.

In terms of encryption, it is worth noting that the ProtonMail does not encrypt subject lines of an email, which is mainly because of PGP and nothing to do with the provider itself. Other than that, the search function in the email service only works on subject lines within your inbox and does not scan through the content of your emails.

The secure email provider does offer some great apps for Android and iOS devices. Other than that, you even have the option to use ProtonMail with third-party apps through the service’s ProtonMaiil Bridge – a feature that is restricted for paid users only.

All-in-all, ProtonMail is a well-regarded secure email provider and works great for most users. Switzerland is not a member of any surveillance alliances and remains a good jurisdiction for strong privacy.

What We Love About It

  • Can import contacts and emails through ProtonMail Bridge feature
  • Removes IP address from emails
  • All emails are encrypted at rest and stored on Swiss servers
  • Company is under Switzerland jurisdiction
  • Offers apps for mobile devices

What We Do Not Love About It

  • Company accepts funding from United States VC Investors and several government entities
  • Utilizes phone number verification
  • Mobile apps, IMAP bridge, and backend are closed source

2. Tutanota

Tutanota is an encrypted email service provider that is fit for both personal and business use. The free account offers up to 1GB of storage with an option to top up. However, if you want to add a custom domain, you would need to subscribe to its premium account.

This Germany-based secure email service provider is operated by a small team of privacy enthusiasts with no outside investors to cut out any unnecessary third-party involvement. Tutanota’s service is focused on providing customers with the highest levels of email security while still remaining user-friendly and intuitive interface.

Tutanota ditches the standard PGP and S/MIME and utilizes their own encryption system that is incorporated with AES and RSA. This standard effectively encrypts the subject line and allows forward secrecy to assure clients that session keys will not be compromised.

The standard can even be updated and strengthened any time deemed necessary to combat against quantum-computer attacks. All the messages in your inbox, contacts, and calendar information are securely encrypted in the servers in Germany. Tutanota offers you two options to send encrypted emails:

  1. Emailing another Tutanota user where everything is encrypted automatically through the asymmetric encryption function.
  2. Emailing an external (non-Tutanota) user with a link to the message and a shared password key that work to encrypt and decrypt messages.

Tutanota is arguably one of the most secure email providers with its high encryption standards, however, it also does come with several tradeoffs. This email provider does not support PGP, IMAP, POP, or SMTP. If you’re wondering why the hassle, the company co-founder Matthias Pfau actually wrote a piece to explain why Tutanota chooses to not rely on PGP standards.

Other than that, you also do not have the option to import existing emails into your encrypted Tutanota inbox. Fortunately, the team is working on including a migration feature into their package soon.

Overall, if you’re looking for a transparent and high-security email provider that is handled by a small team, you simply cannot go wrong with Tutanota.

What We Love About It

  • Messages (including Subject lines), Address Book, Inbox Rules & Filters, and Search Index are all encrypted at rest and stored on German servers
  • Removes IP address from emails
  • Open source code feature works on both computers and mobile apps
  • Features great apps for mobile devices
  • Free account has up to 1GB of storage
  • Encrypts calendar and contacts information
  • Offers discounts and additional supports for non-profit organizations

What We Do Not Love About It

  • Does not support PGP
  • There are potential delays with account approval
  • No method of importing existing emails currently

3. Mailbox.org

Mailbox.org is yet another Germany-based secure email provider that is worth your while to consider. Something different about this service provider is that they are a fully-features service that can function as a full email and productivity suite. This secure email provider offers a great number of features with an extremely user-friendly design.

Mailbox.org offers a huge lineup of features which include Mail, Calendar, Address Book, Drive for Cloud Storage, Tasks, Portal, Text, Spreadsheets, Presentation, and even Webchat. The overall layout and design of Mailbox.org create an extremely easy-to-use interface, even with all the added features and preferences.

For those who are looking to get a secure email provider, it is quite common to have to choose between features and security. Fortunately, Mailbox.org merges the best of both worlds to give you an allrounder service.

In terms of security and encryption features, Mailbox.org comes with full PGP support and options to easily encrypt all your data on their secure at rest servers in Germany. Additionally, you can even use Mailbox.org on your mobile devices and third-party email clients.

Finally, this secure email service even comes with very competitive pricing, with their basic plans starting from only less than 10USD per month. If you’re on the fence about their services, you have the choice to take Mailbox.org out for a test drive with their 30-days trial.

What We Love About It

  • Full PGP Support (both server=side or through third-party app)
  • Company is based in Germany with strong privacy protections
  • HSTS and PFS services for messages in transit
  • Email is protected against middleman attacks
  • Strong message and spam filters
  • Virus protection
  • Full-text search
  • POP, IMAP, SMTP, ActiveSync support
  • vCard, CardDAV, CalDav support
  • Messages are encrypted at rest servers in Germany
  • Supports custom domains
  • Open-source

What We Do Not Love About It

  • No mobile clients
  • Possible tracking during registration

4. Mailfence

Mailfence was launched in November 2013 by a company called ContactOffice Group. This company has been managing an online collaborative suite designed for professionals, universities, and other organizations since its establishment in 1999.

Unlike many private and secure messaging services that are available on the web, Mailfence does not isolate users in their own “digital island”. In fact, this email provider lets users freely communicate securely with anyone, whether they’re Mailfence users or any other email service that is compliant with the OpenPGP protocol.

Mailfence is packed full of powerful features to offer customers calendar and contacts functionality, file storage, and PGP encryption support. This company is based in a good privacy jurisdiction of Belgium that employs strict data protection laws.

For those who prefer full PGP control and interoperability, Mailfence is a solid choice that is free of plugins or addons. Whether you’re using it for personal or business use, Mailfence is likely to possess all the features and options that you will ever require. Similar to Mailbox.org, this secure email provider is a great alternative to full email and productivity suites, such as G Suites or Office 365.

Mailfence even comes with a very well thought out and intuitive layout design for easy usability. Other than that, the company also offers email and phone support to help you out on any issue. Another great plus to Mailfence is that they accept cryptocurrency options to let you stay anonymous.

Mailfence functions decently as a privacy-focused email service which enforces OpenPGP end-to-end encryption. They even come with a free version that offers a limited storage of 500MB and features. In any case, you have the ability to upgrade your subscription to increase storage space and unlock other advanced features, such as using a custom domain.

However, one of the main drawbacks of this amazing provider is that there is no built-in method to completely encrypt your entire inbox. Instead, they only let you do this locally with a third-party client. Fortunately, Mailfence is working on improving this by integrating a built-in encryption option sometime soon.

What We Love About It

  • All encrypted data is stored in Belgian servers
  • Company is based in Belgium that employs strict data protection policies
  • Includes Messages, Documents, Calendar, Contacts, and Groups
  • Supports SMTP, POP, and IMAP
  • Comes with the option to synchronize with other email clients
  • Supports password-protected messages with a self-destruct option
  • Strips all IP addresses from mail headers
  • Offers Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Support
  • OpenPGP user keystore
  • Recently updated interface is very user-friendly
  • Cryptocurrency payment options

What We Don’t Like About It

  • Coding is not open source
  • Company logs IP addresses and some other data
  • No built-in options for encrypting entire inbox

5. Kolab Now

Kolab Now is a company that is based in Switzerland that offers lots of features and a full email suite functionality. This service provider is focused on providing small and medium-sized enterprises with the opportunity for secure email services packed with a complete online office suite such as email, contacts, calendar, scheduling, collaboration/sharing tools, and even a cloud file storage for users.

Kolab Now is secure enough to let you pass confidential information through emails easily without worrying about encountering any issues. Kolab Now stores all your email and data on their server in Switzerland, far away from the hands of other government agencies, scammers, and even advertisers.

All of these are what make Kolab Now an excellent choice not only for privacy-focused individuals but also great for business users and teams. While Kolab does offer numerous features in their packages, they also offer plenty of support for all major operating systems and devices.

However, the secure email service provider does not offer as much encryption as other major service providers, which makes it less suitable for those who want the highest levels of security. End-to-end encryption for emails is not built-in as part of the features and emails are also not stored encrypted at rest.

In terms of pricing, Kolab Now also is priced slightly on the higher end, especially if you want to have access to all their features with more storage. However, for those looking for a feature-rich email suite that is hosted in a privacy-friendly country like Switzerland, Kolab Now might just be the one for you.

What We Love About It

  • Accepts cryptocurrency payments for anonymity
  • Full support for POP, SMTP, and IMAP
  • Operated in Switzerland with strong privacy protection
  • Full email suite comes with numerous features to replace Gmail, Office365, etc.
  • Supports custom domains, teams, and business users

What We Do Not Love About It

  • End-to-end email encryption is not provided
  • Email not encrypted at rest
  • Higher pricing

6. CounterMail

Next, we would be looking into CounterMail. This secure email provider has been operating over 10 years in Sweden with a strict philosophy to “offer the most secure online email service on the internet, with excellent free support.”.

CounterMail utilizes OpenPGP encryption that comes with 4,096-bit encryption keys to completely protect user privacy. The company also encrypts and stores all data in no-logs, diskless servers in Sweden on top of anonymizing email headers and stripping of the sender’s IP address.

While CounterMail does go on a slightly more expensive side than other competitors, the company takes the effort to explain that the price difference mainly comes from using only high-quality servers and implementing strong security measures to ensure your privacy.

CounterMail works round the clock to protect users from any risk of identifying leaks and Man-In-The-Middle attacks with their RSA and AES-CBC encryption feature in addition to their SSL.

This secure email provider may not have all the extra frills that sound really exciting, but CounterMail is 100% serious about your security and they have more than 10 years of track record to prove it.

What We Love About It

  • Supports anonymous cryptocurrency payments
  • Secure service with a built-in password manager
  • All emails and attachments stored are encrypted on no-logs, secure servers in Sweden
  • Supports custom domain
  • Includes message filter and autoresponder features
  • Uses RSA, AES-CBC, and SSL encryption to protect users against leaks and MITM attacks

What We Do Not Love About It

  • Design and user interface feel rather outdated
  • Slightly more expensive than other secure email providers

7. Runbox

While this is not the most popular secure email service that you’d normally find, it is slowly catching up with the top providers. Runbox is a long-time private email service that has been operating for over 20 years in Norway.

In terms of privacy, Norway is a good country with constitutionally agreed privacy rights for users. All Runbox servers are securely located in Norwegian data centers that are powered by clean and renewable hydropower energy.

Runbox uses various security tools that work efficiently to keep your data safely protected from cybercriminals with malicious intent. When you send an email through Runbox, the email is actually sent through a secure encrypted connection to keep everything protected.

One unique feature that makes Runbox stand out from the rest is that it gives you 100 aliases for you to use with your account. The email service provider also includes secure file storage at different pricing tiers.

Other than that, Runbox also fully supports SMTP, POP, and IMAP protocols that can also be used with third-party email clients. In the meantime, the Runbox team is working on an updated webmail client (version 7) that is due for release in the near future. However, they do not include custom mobile or desktop clients in their list of services.

Runbox accepts anonymous cryptocurrency payments like BitCoin to offer users the added sense of anonymity and security. The service also uses two-factor authentication with absolutely no external tracking cookies to make it nearly impossible for any change of sabotage.

Unfortunately, Runbox does not have its own in-built option to encrypt your entire mailbox – a feature that many other secure email providers have. And while you do have the option to run PGP with Runbox, this service is not actually built into the platform yet.

Another drawback is that Runbox does not include a built-in calendar for users. However, there are rumors that the company will be implementing this feature into its latest Version 7 when released.

Runbox also offers a 30-day free trial for users to take their services for a test run before committing to their paid subscription. They also have an easy-to-follow guide on their website that offers step-by-step instructions to import your existing emails for your convenience.

What We Love About It

  • IP addresses are stripped from emails
  • Includes Webmail, Contacts, and Files
  • Servers run on renewable hydropower energy
  • Supports SMTP, POP and IMAP protocols
  • Allows synchronizes with other email clients
  • GDPR compliant
  • Operated in Norway with strong data protection laws
  • 100 email aliases per mailbox
  • Custom domain names provided on paid accounts
  • Numerous anonymous payment methods accepted (cash and cryptocurrencies)

What We Do Not Love About It

  • Browser-based, no dedicated desktop or mobile app
  • Not open source
  • Data not encrypted with Runbox system at rest
  • No special business-oriented features

8. Ctemplar

This is one of the newest secure email providers that is based in Iceland. Ctemplar claims to be “The most secure & private email service in the world.” As such, CTemplar’s jurisdiction in Iceland has very strong privacy laws, one of the best in the world.

CTemplar ensures all your email, attachments, and contacts are stored encrypted at rest on their bare-metal servers in Iceland. This email service provider also offers some very interesting security features which include:

Protection from Javascript – Javascript is often used to serve people with malicious intent. CTemplar works to protect users from such Javascript attacks

Instantly Delete Emails – Unlike Dutch, Swiss, or German laws that require 6 months before emails are permanently deleted, once you press Delete on CTemplar, your data is instantly deleted.

100% Anonymity – Ctemplar allows you to turn into a ghost by signing up anonymously without a phone number or a credit card. The company also claims they do not record, monitor, store, log, or share any of your data.

Built-in Kill Switch – The service provider uses SRI that makes CTemplar immune to Man-in-the-Middle attacks and protects users from any malicious script.

Strongest Offshore Jurisdiction – Ctemplar is based in privacy-loving Icelandic laws and all data are stored safely outside of any surveillance allegiances to protect your data.

Anti-Phishing Protection – You have the option to set a phrase in your account that will alert you to any phishing attempts.

Load Your Visit from Github – Ctemplar is the first provider that allows users to load their website directly from their open-source repository code.

Zero-Access Email Service – While many services claim to have ‘Zero Access’ to your account, they can actually still serve malicious scripts to gain access. CTemplar is not able to do such as they have a checksum implementation.

Trusted & Audited 4096-Bit Encryption – Ctemplar uses OpenPGP.js libraries that are continuously audited and monitored by professionals and the general public alike.

Community Audited – Ctemplar’s codes are openly available and can be audited anytime.

Dedicated Bare-Metal Servers – All data are stored in cloud servers located in Iceland that have legal and unauthorized access risks.

Money-Back Guarantee – Ctemplar offers a 14-days no questions asked full refund policy in case you feel that it is not the one for you.

IP Removed from Emails – All outgoing emails are ensured to be untraceable to you. The company itself does not know your IP address as they use their own IP for all emails.

Zero-Knowledge Password Protection – Ctemplar uses the Zero-Knowledge Password Protection technology, which means they do not possess your password and are not capable of accessing your decrypted data.

Although this company is relatively new, CTemplar is set out to be a strong contender among the secure email industry. They detail how they aim to raise the bar with the security standards listed on their website. CTemplar offers free accounts with up to 1GB email storage but if you would like to gain access to all their features, you’ll need to subscribe to their paid plans.

What We Love About It

  • Strong encryption standards with built-in support
  • 100% open source code
  • Based and operates in Iceland
  • Zero-logs policy
  • IP address stripped from emails
  • Anonymous signup options
  • Supports Bitcoin and Monero payments
  • Self-destructing and Dead Man’s Timer features
  • Can send encrypted emails to non-CTemplar users
  • 2FA support

What We Do Not Love About It

  • No email clients
  • Higher pricing
  • No support for IMAP/SMTP and third-party email clients

9. StartMail

Startpage, a private search engine based in the Netherlands has extended its services to include secure email services called StartMail. While there were some recent rumors about System1 investing in Startpage, StartMail maintains its own unique entity under StartMail B.V. which is a company that is operating under Dutch Law in The Netherlands.

The Netherlands is one of the better jurisdictions for user privacy, which makes StartMail a good option if you care about your privacy. Other than that, StartMail also strives to retain as little data as possible on their operations.

One thing StartMail does differently compared to others is that the service provider handles encryption on their server-side instead of in the browser. This is because OpenPGP operations in Web browser actually take place in a JavaScript context.

Browser JavaScript is not really ready for cryptography in terms of providing a reliable source of random numbers and mathematical functions. StartMail also has taken into account the malleability of JavaScript runtime environment which means it is nearly impossible to audit future security of a piece of JavaScript code.

Other than that, JavaScript is also executed in the browser environment which the programmer has very little control over. In such conditions, it makes it very hard or impossible for the service provider to perform secure memory management and protect against timing attacks.

Additionally, StartMail offers users the option to utilize PGP encryption with their emails which are also encrypted at rest on their Dutch servers. One cool feature worth mentioning is that SmartMail has the ability to create temporary, disposable email addresses for users to use with different services.

StartMail offers a 30-day trial with limited functionalities before you make your final decision. If you do enjoy their service, you can choose to upgrade to their paid subscription anytime. This secure email provider is easily a deserving choice as one of the best private email services available and it is difficult to see any reason not to give them a try.

What We Love About It

  • Can create temporary, disposable email addresses on the go
  • Accepts anonymous cryptocurrency payments
  • Supports IMAP and SMTP
  • Headers and IP addresses are stripped from emails
  • Accounts come with 10GB file storage

What We Do Not Love About It

  • No custom mobile apps
  • Not open source
  • User interface may be a little primitive and outdated

10. Posteo

Posteo is an interesting secure email provider service that is focused on customer’s privacy and security while running on green energy. This independent secure email provider offers great security and privacy on the internet with their sustainable and encrypted email accounts, which includes calendars and address books.

This company is completely self-funded and ad-free. Posteo is one of the most all-rounder and friendly encrypted email services. They are a great cost-effective solution for those who want to encrypt their entire mail suite without burning a hole through their wallet.

This company is also based in Germany which offers a high level of privacy and security for its users. This fully-features email provider utilizes PGP encryption standards, and are in many aspects, similar to Mailbox.org. However, a few key differences in the Posteo are:

  1. Posteo does not support custom domains
  2. No spam folder which means all emails are either delivered to your inbox or rejected immediately
  3. No trial or free tier available for customers

In terms of privacy, Posteo really takes the extra effort to protect its users. All IP addresses are automatically stripped from emails with strong encryption standards. The company employs a strict no-logs policy so customers can stay rest assured on their privacy.

Posteo also supports anonymous registration and payments. The company even allows you to send cash through mail so you can be certain that there is absolutely no digital trail that could be linked back to you. In cases where you opt to pay via credit card, PayPal, or other digital methods, they will manually separate account details from payment info.

What We Love About It

  • Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Notes are completely encrypted at rest on secure servers in Germany
  • Email subject, headers, body, metadata, and attachments are fully encrypted
  • Service includes Messages, Calendar, Contacts (Address Book), and Notes
  • Posteo is strongly committed to privacy, sustainable energy, and other social initiatives
  • No-logs policy, IP address stripping, and secure email storage with daily backups
  • Allows anonymous digital payments and cash payments
  • Supports SMTP, POP, and IMAP protocol + Two-Factor Authentication
  • Open Source

What We Do Not Love About It

  • Does not support custom domains
  • No “.com” options available
  • No spam folder (all emails are rejected or delivered to inbox)
  • No trial or free version for customers to test out
  • Cryptocurrency payment methods not supported

How can you increase your online security and privacy even more?

Hopefully, the article has helped you choose a suitable encrypted email service to act as an alternative to your current risky email provider. Yet, you should also remember that email anonymity does not necessarily equal online security.

Although most of the email services listed above do include spam filtering, virus scanning, and even some protection against phishing activities, malicious attacked will always be able to find ways to send you malware-infected links via email.

This is why you should also consider getting a proactive, threat prevention for your PC, which lets you click on any link with confidence so you can be sure that your endpoint will cause you to be infected by malware.

Conclusion

Whatever your situation is, it is a smart step to use a secure and private email provider to protect all your sensitive information and data. Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft, and other big email providers may be convenient, but your privacy is certainly not anywhere near their top priority. Paying for a good email service that values your privacy ensures that all your personal data is kept secured and out of prying eyes.

In this guide, we have listed only email services that offer strong encryption to ensure only senders and recipients of the messages will ever have access to the email contents. This is true email security and the best thing is that these services are sometimes provided for free by certain service providers.

Final Thoughts

The above email providers discussed go a fantastic job in protecting your email activities, however, some are always better than others.

When it comes to security, CounterMail is easily the best in the business. Their server is based in one of the best countries for user privacy – Sweden. With end-to-end encryption, these emails are stored securely on diskless servers in the form of a USB dongle. This goes to prove that CounterMail is easily one of the most secure email providers on this list.

However, if you’re willing to trade in the dongle in exchange for added benefits. ProtonMail is a strong runner-up. ProtonMail’s features include a much more user-friendly layout with slightly lower monthly rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to encrypt my email and files?

Email and file encryption is the top proven approach to ensure your sensitive information and data are protected from outsiders. In other cases, you may also want to protect your email which contains intellectual property or other confidential information. Aside from the security concerns when using day-to-day business, a growing number of users have actually started encrypting their information because of compliance issues. Some country’s legislation even has stringent rules on methods to share personal information and data with others and firms that fail to comply with these laws have to face severe sanctions and fines. For such reasons, it is now more than ever critical to subscript to a secure email service provider to ensure all your files are protected.

Do I need to worry about regulatory compliance with my email?

You most definitely need to worry about regulatory compliance with your email especially if you use email to transmit sensitive data such as personally identifiable health information or financial data such as compensation information. You should remember that the ability to conduct business electronically isn’t just about avoiding liability, it actually helps to open up several business opportunities by fostering faster, lower-cost client and patient communication. For many clinicians, attorneys and financial consultants, this kind of secure communications channel can add much value to your job.

Should I use secure email or secure messaging apps?

Whether you decide you use a secure email or secure messaging apps depends on your threat model. A few secure messaging apps do not have some of the vulnerabilities that secure emails have and below are the top three secure massaging apps worth considering:

  • Wire
  • Signal
  • Keybase

Encrypted messaging apps usually offer a better level of security over the traditional email, plus they are actually much easier to use than the typical PGP email encryption.

Finally, encrypted messaging apps also make it very convenient for back-and-forth conversations, document sharing, and collaboration.

How do I stay more secure with email?

One way to stay more secure with email is to pair it with a good VPN. One fundamental problem that commonly occurs with email is that it can expose your IP address and location to third parties.

While some email services strip IP addresses and conceal metadata, there are also plenty of companies that do not. Some popular encryption plugin has been caught leaking user IP addresses and others may even be forced to log user IP addresses by valid court orders without disclosing any of these to users.

Finally, there is also the fact that many email servers do retain information and keep logs for security purposes. The logs kept by these services include user IP addresses, connection times, and so on.

To effectively protect yourself, you can use a good VPN together with your secure email. A good VPN creates a secure tunnel that encrypts and anonymizes all your internet traffic so you can carry on your business as usual without a worry.

Some larger VPN providers such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN even include apps for major devices with a huge server network located in many countries around the world. Due to the added security and privacy benefits that a VPN offers, it is always a smart idea to use one whenever you’re online to make sure you’re not vulnerable to malicious online attacks.

Your internet service providers (ISP) in many countries are actually recording user browsing history which can be then passed on to advertisers or government agencies. With a VPN, all your DNS requests are encrypted and handled by the VPN server so that even if third parties happen to hack this info out, they’ll only be working with a bunch of random characters that mean nothing.

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