If you use a free email service like Yahoo, Gmail, or any other, you should know (and probably already do) that those services are anything but secure. This is the price you pay for using a service that is free (though anything free, including social networks, aren’t truly free because they do collect your information).
This fact doesn’t bother Gmail’s 420 million users, but if it bother you, there’s a new email provider on the block that is getting a lot of attention lately.
Hushmail has become popular overnight with those wary of letting any major company steal personal details. You do have to pay for this service, but it’s entirely encrypted, which means that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read your emails. Sound good? Here’s what you need to know about Hushmail.
When you use Hushmail, you email is completely encrypted. Every time you sign into your account, that email is decrypted. Emails sent between Hushmail users is automatically encrypted, and email sent to non-Hushmail users can contain a secret question. Once that users answers the question, the email contents will be unveiled.
Just how secure is Hushmail? It all depends on how you look at it. Hushmail was the subject of a court case back in 2007. At that time, the Canadian Government demanded that the email provider handover email addresses for three Hushmail users. The company obliged, and the information was given to the court. How can this be if the service is encrypted?
Hushmail claims that its service keeps your emails from general government inquiries. However, the company has publicly stated that it will give up email information if you’re trying to hide some seriously illegal activity that a court wants to gain access to. Hushmail can capture user passwords for some specific people, so do keep this in mind if you’re planning on opening up the next Pirate Bay or some other similar service.
Who It’s For
Everyday, hackers and government agencies take a casual glance at some email addresses, and access some basic information - not to mention email companies that use this information for marketing purposes. If you use social networks and are already spread across the Internet, you may not care if someone can see your emails or gain access to your email passwords.
If you do care, Hushmail is a good option, as long as you realize that it doesn’t protect you against illegal activity. Hushmail costs $34.99 per year to use if you are an individual, and there is also a business package available. Is this service worth $34 per year? It all depends on how secure you want your email to be.
If Hushmail isn’t secure enough for you, there are a myriad of other email encryption options out there, but none of them are free. Rather stick to a free email service? Understand that your information is not private, though this still works for most. You can also go to the trouble of using a file encryption program if you want complete security with a basic email provider.