How to Send Encrypted Email for Free?
In theory, an email message is a private correspondence between a sender and a recipient. In practice, it passes beneath a lot of eyes between those two and a lot of those eyes are more than curious about what’s in the email. Because of this, you need to use the best free encrypted email service if you want to ensure the privacy and security of your emails.
Unfortunately, sending an encrypted email is something that is often thought of as too complicated for an average email user. We are going to show you that this isn’t the case as we teach you in this article not just how to send encrypted email for free, but also what is the best encrypted free email you can find today.
What is Email Encryption and How Does it Work?
Okay, but before we tell you all of this, it’s important to first understand what exactly is email encryption and how it works.
Simply put, email encryption (and this generally goes for any type of encryption) is the process of converting the contents of an email into a form that won’t be readable by a 3rd party.
This is done by encoding the readable text into symbols using an encryption key before sending the email to the recipient. On his side, the recipient then uses the same encryption key to decrypt and read the message.
This is the most common type of encryption that uses the same, public key to both encrypt and decrypt a message. As you can guess, while it’s safer than sending emails with no encryption whatsoever, using the same encryption key to both encrypt and decrypt the email has some obvious security concerns.
Because of this, encryption experts have introduced another, private key, needed to decipher the encrypted email. Unlike the public key which can circulate pretty much freely, only the intended email recipient should be in the possession of the private key.
How Can I Get Free Encrypted Email?
Okay, now that we covered what email encryption (and encryption in general) is and how it works, here are some good options to send an encrypted email for free that we would recommend.
If you want to use Gmail to send and receive sensitive emails, you should know that its regular TLS encryption will only protect your email messages while in transit, but not once it reaches its destination.
This is a serious vulnerability and one because of which we would wholeheartedly recommend not using Gmail for sending anything remotely confidential.
However, if you really have to, there are several plug-ins that you can use. One of them is FlowCrypt. Once you install FlowCrypt from the Google Play Store, next time you compose an email, you’ll see a new button instead of “Send” that now reads “Encrypt and Send”.
FlowCrypt allows you to send encrypted messages and attachments without having to know what PGP is or the difference between public and private keys, so it’s a very good option for average Gmail users.
Sendinc is a free, web-based service that allows you to send sensitive information through your Gmail or another email account. All you need to start using it is to sign up with your email and password and you can start composing secure emails without any additional software or plugins.
Your messages will be encrypted using a randomly-generated key which will be emailed to the recipient as a link and can only be decrypted with the key recipient’s encryption key. Note that not even Sendinc has that key and can’t decode the message without it.
Keep in mind that both the sender and the recipient need to use Sendinc for it to work.
When the sender sends the message, it will be hidden behind a link like this:
To open it and read the message, the recipient will need to create their own Sendinc account. Once they do, they’ll be able to open and read the message using Sendinc.
You can also upgrade to Sendinc Pro or Corporate for more features, such as choosing when the message will self-destruct (default is 7 days on the free version), or to get notified when the other side reads the message for example.
To use iSafeguard from MXC Software, you’ll first need to download and install the software package. This does mean that there is an additional step or two required compared to other free encrypted email service options here, but iSafeGuard provides top security encryption as well as digital signatures for everyone from individual users to organizations.
With iSafeGuard, you can encrypt emails, folders and files, sign them and verify digital signatures, plus there is a text editor you can use to free disk space.
Unfortunately, it only works with Windows, so Mac or Linux users are out of luck with this one.
Although solid, all of the options above to send a free encrypted email either require a plugin, a 3rd-party web-based service, or to install a software package.
Those are only short-term solutions.
CTemplar is an open-source secure email service that enables you to send encrypted email messages and attachments using the strongest OpenPGP encryption available.
The service doesn’t require any information on your part to create an account (including phone verification) to create an account. All you need is a username and password and you are ready to send encrypted emails.
In addition, CTemplar strips your IP from all metadata and logs, which means your outgoing emails are completely untraceable to you and thanks to Zero data protection CTemplar uses, no one can read your messages but you and the recipient.
Finally, your password is also protected using Zero-knowledge password protection, thanks to which you are the only one that can access your private keys and decrypt the data.
Looking for the best free encrypted email service? Try CTemplar: Armored Email.