Originally posted on Ian's Business & Tech Blog:

With the government threatening to do all kinds of things to the internet, and stories about email and phone hacking surfacing all over the world, there’s never been a better time to start protecting your online privacy. Email encryption is one way of keeping your personal data safe.

Encryption services or third-party software encrypt emails by making them unreadable to anyone other than the intended recipient. When you encrypt your email, you have a public key (usually a mixture of numbers and letters) that others can use to send you encrypted email, and a private key, which you then use to decode the email.

When sending encrypted email to someone else, you need to know their public key in order to keep the email secure. You can either get this from them personally, or find it by searching the online key servers.

Encrypted email isn’t widely used outside of sensitive…

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