How to Get Anonymity and Privacy through Email

Imagine if you looked out your window and saw someone open your mailbox, take out your mail and start opening the envelopes. Even if you didn’t have any important pieces of mail, you surely wouldn’t let the person continue. So, why do so many people not take precautions when it comes to email privacy?

Electronic messages are quickly becoming most Americans’ go-to form of communication. Yet free public email services like Gmail or Yahoo, popular with many people, don’t prioritize privacy. Such companies typically use an intermediary to transmit messages, opening up the communication to many more sets of eyes than just the sender and receiver. They often store users’ messages on external servers, sometimes for months or even years, again putting the user at risk for intrusion. On top of those privacy concerns, phishing scams are becoming more and more sophisticated, so email users can’t afford to be lax when it comes to their email security.

So, what can users do to enhance email privacy and anonymity?

  • Opt for private email. Private email services typically encrypt messages, which gives you the most security possible.

  • Install an anti-phishing toolbar. The automated system will run a quick scan on each site you visit and alert you to potential phishing scams.

  • Use firewalls. Install firewalls for both your desktop and your network, if you use one.

  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.

  • Be a critical clicker. It sounds simple, but always think twice before you open any email, particularly if it comes from a sender you do not know.

  • Keep yourself educated. Phishing techniques are constantly evolving so it’s helpful to remain aware of new risks in order to keep your email privacy at the forefront.

Our email can contain extremely sensitive information, such as passwords, financial documents, corporate communications and even personal messages that we wouldn’t want shared. However, since email isn’t as tangible a concept as traditional “snail mail,” many users may not realize just how vital email privacy is.

Selecting a private email service and then keeping yourself educated and engaged in protecting your communications are some of the best lines of defense to privacy intrusions.