Email Encryption – Solutions for Small Business

January 6th, 2014 by TCC Leave a reply »

Communicating by email has become second nature for most of us. Only a decade or so ago, it was a strange and new activity that we viewed as a novelty. It is now an indispensable part of our personal and business lives. Unfortunately, as the use and acceptance of email has grown, so have the number of ways in which itcan be used for criminal or just plain evil, purposes. For this reason, we suggest looking into utilizing email security in the form of email encryption rom The Computer Company.

Corporations and governments are using encrypted email technology because of the sensitive nature of their communications. Typically, this type of security is very expensive and technologically advanced. Certainly, for the average personal user of email, it is not practical. More and more, we are seeing this type of email encryption being developed in simpler and much less expensive formats, targeted at the small business user. But is something like this appropriate for you? Let’s take a look at the risks of using unsecured email.

We all know and receive spam messages on a daily basis. For the most part, we employ spam filtering tools to block these messages and they work pretty well. We have become trained to see spam as potentially dangerous. It may simply be an annoying ad offering us designer watches for $15 or it may contain malware, viruses or worse, which is why we are happy that the spam blocker prevents it from entering our inbox at all.

Look at how your spam filter is configured. There usually is a setting to have it permanently remove spam messages as soon as they are identified. This is effective, but if a message from a safe sender gets identified as spam, it will be destroyed along with the junk. The trick is to label all safe senders as such and tell the spam filter that they are OK to receive emails from. However, without much sophistication, bad guys can intercept an email in transit, change the content and even the sender, and then let it continue its journey to your computer. In this case, the safe sender might actually be an email you don’t want to open, particularly if it contains an attachment. In this case, you can only hope that your anti-virus software is going to intercept any threats that might be contained within the innocent-looking email.

Remember that every email you send is like a postcard. If someone wants to read it, all they need to be able to do is access one of the mail servers that it will be routed through on its journey, and this is not as difficult as it sounds. Emails can travel around the globe even if the destination is across the street. It can be routed through servers in faraway countries where sniffers may be installed to detect and read the email. Police and security forces are constantly monitoring our email, searching for keywords that might alert them to the possibility of terrorist or criminal activity. Generally, the content of our emails is pretty benign and of little value to the bad guys, but occasionally, they hit the jackpot and intercept really valuable information in an email, like a password, account number, username or PIN (personal identification number). When you need to communicate such information to someone (which you should really never do anyways), use the telephone.

Email encryption software will actually re-write the content of your email in code, making it difficult for the email to be read by anyone other than the intended recipient. You may already be familiar with a common form of encryption used on web-based HTML pages. This is a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate, which is identified by the page address having the prefix https instead of the regular http. Never enter credit card or banking information or conduct any type of financial transaction on a site that doesn’t start with https! The SSL certificate is a form of encryption that the web site uses to scramble the information, protecting it from prying eyes.

Email encryption technology is even more sophisticated than SSL, but as we rely more and more on email and criminals become more ingenious and clever, it may be wise to look into the different options available. In the meantime, practice safe email usage, use common sense and avoid the headaches that many people have experienced by having their sensitive information compromised

For a free evaluation of your circumstances or a demonstration of our email encryption solution please contact us today.

The Computer Company

800 418 2358






By Jack D Carmichael


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