How To Create And Send End-To-End Encrypted Emails

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Services like Gmail & Microsoft Outlook will say that they provide their customers with an encrypted or encoded email service, and these companies undoubtedly do offer them. Their security keeps your information protected while it is journeying through the numerous protocols, which is rather important as this can stop governments and hackers from snooping on your conversations. But they can still be accessed and opened by hackers and government agencies, and that is why we have written this article.

However, before we get started, it is worth mentioning a few services that provide encrypted email solutions. In the list below, we have mentioned a few good ones:-

  • Proton Mail – Its servers are based in Switzerland, and it is one of the best online encrypted email service providers. This service can be accessed for free.

  • Tor Guard – A top-of-the-line encoding VPN & Email provider.

  • GnuPG – Is the same as OpenPGP, and it can work with almost any email service. Involves complex set-up.

  • Rise Up – A Seattle-based secure email service provider, and their high-end developers are all birds (at least, their pseudonyms are all based on birds).

  • OneShar – This secure messaging service can self-destruct. As a result, they are good for sending passwords and other email addresses.

  • Counter Mail – Counter Mail is also an encrypted email service provider, and they claim they are easy to use.

  • Bit Message – This is a peer-to-peer (P2P) messaging system.

  • NeoMailBox – This encrypted email service provider can be used with Outlook, Netscape – I don’t remember using it the last time – & Eudora. Their servers are also based in Switzerland, and they offer unlimited addresses.

  • Opaque Mail – Open source and available on GitHub.

  • Shazzle Mail – This encrypted email service was primarily designed for cell phones, mainly iOS & Android, but is now available to download on PC and Apple computers.

  • Hush Mail – This can be used as your email service provider. Allowing you to send encrypted emails, without having to install any security software on your PC.

  • Crypto Heaven – This is also a web based encrypted email service provider, meaning you do not need to install any other software, but it is expensive.

  • A/I – The company A/I not only provides encrypted emails, but it also offers services for Blogs, Newsletters, Web Hosting, Instant Messaging Services and VPN.

This list mostly includes email services that charge a yearly fee and, in some cases, a few of them only accept cryptocurrency such as BitCoins, BlackCoins, LiteCoins, etc. But even with Proton Mail topping the list, the Lelantos Project – https://lelantoss7bcnwbv.onion.lt – happens to be the safest way to exchange emails.

With that said, the user based encoding we are referring to is a lot more powerful. It encodes your information, even for those who are going to receive the emails, and it does not give Google, or any other company, the option of decrypting it – so only you and the recipient knows what’s inside, unless you open it in a very unsecure manner.

Image Source: Google Image – Adi Shamir(Israel), Ron Rivest(USA) and Leonard Adleman(USA): Inventors of the RSA Algorithm.

Encryption is ‘not the best or most secure’ method of sending information in any respect, and yet again, with the right amount of knowledge of protected electronic mail transmissions, it is possible to make sure that no one can read your emails.

In a cryptosystem, there is a condition known as ‘key distribution’ or ‘key submission’. Once you have found that, you can lock the file. However, in order for the recipient to successfully unlock and read the email, they would need to have a copy of a numerical key. And if you had the ability to deliver items like that securely, you may simply make use of that key delivery solution to deliver the email itself, and then the keys won’t be required.

However, the final fix was to use a combination of public and private keys, through which a person has the ability to secure a document with an openly indexed key; then again, you would only be able to open it if you used the secret key the receiver needs to open and read the message(s). This simple, yet secure idea was stuck up for many years because of the difficulty of discovering a formula or process that would fulfill the task – secure using the first key and open it using the second.

Once this technique was initially learned, it was referred to as the RSA. In the beginning, this public key cryptosystem wasn’t popular or used much. However, this changed when it was finally applied by Phil Zimmerman in the early 90’s. Zimmerman made an easy to use software called Pretty Good Privacy, or what is commonly known as PGP.

Image Source: Google Image – Philip R. “Phil” Zimmermann, Jr. is the creator of Pretty Good Privacy, the most widely used email encryption software in the world. He is also known for his work in VoIP encryption protocols, notably ZRTP and Zfone.

There is a selection of comparable programs that can be used as an alternative to PGP, such as GnuPG, which is also referred to as GNU Privacy Guard or OpenPGP. To get started, we are required to do these 3 procedures:-

  1. Download and run the software (the links are given in the paragraph below).

  2. Create a Public/Private key set.

  3. Finally, post our ‘Public Key’ on our websites, social media platforms or any other place where you know people will see it.

If you are working on a Microsoft Windows PC, make sure you install GPG4Win, and for our Apple users, please install GPGTools. The steps for these programs are generally similar, with only the names being different and the user interface. It is also worth mentioning that GPG-Keychain is the place where a Mac keeps all the public and private key information, so keep your systems secure and updated – we do not want anyone getting hold of that.

  • To produce a new pair of public and private key(s), simply press ‘New’ and  follow the instructions.

  • During that process, you will be asked to decide what level your encryption should be – if you are unsure, you can choose the default option – what current email address is going to get the encrypted emails, and the display name that you want the public to view.

  • As soon as you hit ‘Create’, you will be able to access an open or public key that you can copy and paste anywhere on the web. The best way to make this happen is to ‘export’ the key and save it in a text format. You can do this by selecting ‘export’ from the right-click options.

  • Once that is done, copy and paste the entire key – everything – and paste it into the submit box on the website created and maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university offers public encoding keys for everyone, free of charge – and in case you are wondering, they aren’t the only people offering this service. However, they are the most preferred option.

  • Publish the key anywhere over the internet; you can do that by publishing it on Google Plus, your Facebook profile, Twitter bio and any other social media platform that you are on.

You can send an email by making use of another program from the GPG Tools Suite, from which you can use GPG for Mail. In the event that you get an encoded email and you do not have GPG for Mail set up, you will be presented with weird numbers and letters instead of a usual email. By setting up GPG for Mail, you instruct the Mail application to set the public and private keys to take advantage of both securing and uncoding the emails and its content.

Also, GPG4Win operates in a very similar manner; it has private key managers for Outlook as well.

Ultimately, secure and private emails will continue to be opaque, because a lot of people will never know about it or wouldn’t bother doing it. But to the readers, this setup is as good as those paid services, and it is one of the best ways to encrypt your messages – we understand that it is a lot of work, but once it is set up, you will never look at emails in the same way again.

Source: The Hacker News, and the links in the above article.


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