Gmail is great, right? With almost 2 Billion users, Google is the world's largest email provider. The only problem Gmail has, like almost all email providers, is that it is not as secure or private as it should be.
How to fix it? The easy answer is encryption, preferably "end-to-end" encryption. That will give your Gmail the power to provide your personal and business communications the privacy and security they deserve.
The really good news is that you found maybe the one article (in a sea of clickbait) that will actually show you how to send an encrypted email on Gmail the best way possible.
It's called SecureMyEmail™. Let us walk you through it.
Is Gmail encrypted at all?
Kind of, but not nearly as well as you want it to be if you're asking this question.😉 Gmail, like many email providers nowadays, uses what is called TLS (Transport Layer Security) to encrypt email in transit. This is a big improvement over legacy email security but it isn't comprehensive by any means.
- Only works if the receiving email provider also uses TLS.
- Doesn't encrypt email "at rest" on the email server itself.
- Email can still be intercepted and possibly decrypted, especially at destination.
- Google, of course, still has access to your email.
So, Google reads my email?
Technically, yes. But, we're not saying Google has a sweltering offshore facility somewhere filled with child laborers reading your email. First of all, the children would need to be literate which would probably make it cost-prohibitive to Google management. Just kidding.🙂
It's more accurate to say that Google "scans" your emails using algorithm-based machine learning. In other words, "computers" read your email. But, it's not all bad. The scanning allows Google to sort your email into categories, control SPAM, provide some security, and enable "smart features."
Now, it's true that they used to read your email to target ads, but they say they stopped that practice back in 2017. We suppose we should believe them.
So, it's not all bad, but if you're looking for sending and receiving completely private and secure email with Gmail, they don't do that.
Isn't Gmail Confidential Mode encrypted?
Not really, no. What Confidential Mode claims is that you can prevent the recipient from forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading the email you send them. Of course, in practice, they can still screenshot the email and do whatever they want. It's "something," but not really that secure.
You can also add an expiration date for emails, but in reality the message will still exist on Google's servers after the expiration date and be accessible by Google and potential data breaches.
They also allow you to add a passcode for your recipient to access the message, which adds some additional security, but this is not exactly super convenient. And, still not really encrypted.
And, let's face it, if you do send the passcode via SMS to your recipient, you've now given Google your recipient's phone number. Which, may be fine, but probably not so cool.🙂
So, Gmail Confidential Mode isn't nothing, but it's not that great, not encrypted, and especially not end-to-end encrypted which is what you really want.
Okay, so how do I encrypt Gmail for real?
Well, paraphrasing a personal hero, Jeff Spicoli, "we have an ultimate set of tools and we can fix it." But, unlike that sweet Z28 in Fast Times, we actually **can** fix it. You can keep your Gmail and have encryption too. How? Enable encryption protocols such as S/MIME or PGP yourself, or use purpose-built encryption software like SecureMyEmail.
1. Encrypting Gmail using S/MIME
Gmail allows paid users to enable an encryption protocol called S/MIME. We'll let you read about it yourselves. Not trying to be negative, but we're sure you'll quickly agree that unless you enjoy things like putting together IKEA furniture while having your teeth drilled, it isn't for you. Beyond the Byzantine set up process, you can only send encrypted email to people that have also gone through this process and that you have individually exchanged S/MIME certificates with. That is a lot of work and not very practical.
2. Encrypting Gmail with PGP
The OG standard. PGP, which stands for "Pretty Good Privacy" (as kind of a joke by Phil Zimmermann, the creator), is unparalleled in its security if deployed and used properly. We use it as the foundation of SecureMyEmail, in fact.
The problem is, and what cost us so much money and time to simplify it for normal people🙂 , is its nightmarish complexity.
And, that's only the initial set up. Getting PGP running on multiple devices, especially mobile? Absolutely horrific. Oh, now you want to be all fancy and send an encrypted email to someone? Well, you can't.
Unless of course they have PGP set up too and you have performed a key exchange and hope that the versions of PGP software you and they are using are compatible and don't flake out. We won't even get into "key management." ick.
We're not being hyperbolic to score points here, either. It's why one of the greatest cryptographic inventions ever, never really became as popular s it should have.
And, that's where we come in.
3. Encrypting Gmail with SecureMyEmail™ (The big winner!)
If you really want to add encryption to your Gmail, we're the best game in town. By far.
Sure sure. You'll find some other, perhaps even valiant, attempts by really fine people to simplify encryption for Gmail. And, then you'll be like, "Oh, I have to send the recipient a password first?" "Oh, I can't use it on all my devices? "I can only use Chrome?" etc. etc.
Trust us. We thought about this a LOT.
Why is SecureMyEmail the best way to encrypt or end-to-end encrypt Gmail?
It's FREE if you have an email that ends in gmail.com or googlemail.com.
An unbeatable deal unless we actually paid YOU to use it.
It's super easy and secure to set up.
We're tied directly into Google Sign-in with Oauth for secure and automated setup of your Gmail within SecureMyEmail. You will be sending encrypted email within minutes.
Your encrypted emails are safe from prying eyes, including Google's. Even in a data breach or hack.
This is true even when they are archived, or "at rest," on Google's servers. Even if your email account is hacked, your encrypted emails and attachments will remain safe.
You can seamlessly send encrypted email to anyone on the planet and don't have to mess with sending them a password, etc. to open it.
We have two encryption options when you send an encrypted email. We call them "Encrypted" and "Encrypted+." Catchy, right? One option is password-less and you can just send, send, send. The other lets you add a password if you so desire. It does add an additional layer of security, but both options are encrypted. Better yet, check it out with screenshots and everything.
Your recipients don't have to do anything special to read and reply to your encrypted email.
No clunky portals, registering, or downloads. They don't have to use our service or anything.
You can use it on all your devices.
We've got free apps for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, iPadOS. Access your encrypted Gmail anywhere.
Use it when you want to encrypt an email, but otherwise just do what you always have.
SecureMyEmail runs in any browser tab on a Mac or PC as well as has apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It is a fully functional email client, but you don't have to switch to it. Just use it for your encrypted emails and continue using the Gmail web interface, etc. for everything else if you like.
Here's a summarized graphical representation of "Why is SecureMyEmail the best way to encrypt or end-to-end encrypt Gmail?"
How do I encrypt my Gmail with SecureMyEmail for free?
Just go to our pricing page and scroll down to the free option for SecureMyEmail. That will take you to our software download page. You can start with any of our apps to create your free account. The other apps are free for you to use also.
What if I want to add encryption to other email accounts that aren't standard Gmail? What if I need email encryption for a whole organization?
We offer paid accounts that allow you to encrypt multiple email addresses per person. Whether you need email encryption for 100,000 people or just one, we make it really easy. Contact our sales team with any questions. We'd love to hear from you!