Ehsan Asdar / 1.31.2023

The best email security services to keep your online communication safe

What’s the best type of email protection? Find out in our in-depth guide to keeping your correspondence private with the top email security services!
List of email security features, such as encryption and spam filtering.
Emailing has been one of the primary methods of communication since the dawn of the digital age—especially for confidential and professional correspondence. But how secure are the emails we send and receive through the average email service provider?While this correspondence is susceptible to different types of email attacks, you can use various email security services to keep your messages private. These solutions are designed to protect the contents of your email account against loss, compromise, or unauthorized access by third parties.In this article, you’ll learn how:
  • Different email security solutions work
  • To choose the best option for email protection
  • To keep your email threads anonymous

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Why is email security important?

Most users rarely think about email privacy. We assume that major email service providers (ESPs) are trustworthy and ensure the complete confidentiality of our online correspondence, but that’s not always the case.Sending secure emails in Gmail or Outlook isn’t completely safe because your email data is at risk from threats like:
Email security threatExplanation
Hacker attacksIf a cybercriminal gains access to your ESP’s email server, they could obtain your private emails, sensitive information, and confidential financial data
ESP misuseESPs like Google don’t only provide email services. They also run digital ad platforms, and they’ve scanned the contents of private emails in the past to improve ad targeting
Online scamsInternet scammers use fake email addresses to conduct phishing schemes, impersonating other people and potentially conning you into transferring funds or revealing valuable personal information

What email security solutions are available?

To protect your private emails from different attacks, ESPs and email security companies use email protection tools like:
  1. Spam filters
  2. Anti-virus software
  3. Password protection
  4. Email encryption services

Spam filters

According to Statista, spam messages make up over 50% of global email traffic. Because email communication is so widespread, many businesses send unsolicited emails for marketing purposes. When left unchecked, those marketing emails clog up users’ inboxes and make them miss crucial information.Spam is more than an inconvenience because cybercriminals often use fake marketing emails for scams. If the recipients open them and unsuspectingly click on the malicious links, their devices can become infected with viruses and other malware.That’s why popular ESPs use cutting-edge spam filters to separate junk mail, spam, and phishing attempts from legitimate messages and emails that users are more likely to be interested in. Some spam filters are built into email clients and protocols, but you can install additional tools. That’s advisable if you have a custom email domain on a private server because you get no protection out of the box.However, spam filters come with a few disadvantages because they:
  • Aren’t perfect—Spammers constantly create new fake emails, sometimes managing to send thousands of them before your spam filter blocks their domain, IP, or email address
  • Are prone to false positives—Spam filters run on automated algorithms, often marking real messages as spam after mistakenly interpreting specific words as red flags
  • Can be fooled—Scammers sometimes use large amounts of legitimate text to fool spam filters and appear genuine

Anti-virus solutions

No spam filter can guarantee 100% precision. While they can separate most spam messages from real ones and delete them, sometimes the damage has already been done.If you open a malicious email and interact with a malware-filled attachment or link, your system won’t be repaired by deleting the questionable email. This is especially problematic with business emails opened on company computers because a virus could quickly spread to other machines on your corporate network.Anti-virus solutions scan incoming and outgoing emails, detect harmful attachments, and block them from entering or exiting your system. Most popular ESPs, including Gmail and Outlook, have built-in anti-virus solutions.There are two issues with email anti-virus software:
  • False positives—Like spam filters, anti-virus solutions frequently mark clean files as potentially dangerous. That’s particularly true if you send or receive executable files and file archives (like WinZip or WinRAR)
  • Evolving threats—Cybercriminals always find new ways to hack emails and create threats for which your current anti-virus protection wasn’t designed. Anti-virus databases are frequently updated to reflect these changes, but the process takes time

Password protection

If you want to ensure no one reads a confidential message, learning how to password-protect an email is a great idea. Gmail has a Confidential Mode which you can turn on to equip your email with a passcode, and some other ESPs provide similar options.When you create a password and only give it to the intended recipient, no one else can open your email or download the attachments. This approach is effective but remains a secondary security method for the following reasons:
  • Manual work—Spam filters and anti-virus software are automatic, while password protection requires specific actions from you and the recipient
  • Reliance on other devices and their security—You must communicate the password to the intended recipient, which typically means you have to call them or send them a message. As phones can get misplaced or stolen, and you can’t be sure how safe another person’s device is, the security of your message can be compromised
  • Availability—Many major ESPs don’t provide password protection, such as Outlook
  • Zero protection from ESP’s meddling—Your ESP can scan your emails even with password protection

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Email encryption

Encryption is a data security technique that involves scrambling your messages with a cipher that makes them unreadable to anyone but the person with the decryption key. In the case of email, this person is the intended recipient.Most ESPs like Outlook and Gmail use some type of encryption—in most cases, the email TLS encryption protocol. Unfortunately, this protocol and most others have one flaw—they’re server-based.Hackers who gain access to an ESP’s email servers could bypass their encryption because that’s where the decryption keys are stored. The good news is that a specific type of encryption solves this problem—end-to-end encryption (E2EE).

Why is E2EE encryption the best email security solution?

Unlike the server-based encryption methods used by most ESPs, end-to-end email encryption is performed at the device level.With E2EE, your messages are encrypted before they’re uploaded to an email server. Even if the server is vulnerable to hacker activity, cybercriminals with access couldn’t read your messages. The email data stays encrypted until it reaches the recipient’s device, where the only decryption key is stored. That key is never uploaded to your email client, contrary to TLS and other server-based encryption protocols.That’s why the method is called “end-to-end” encryption—it protects email data at both endpoints, the sender’s and the recipient’s device. The only problem with E2EE is that it’s not available everywhere—Gmail, Outlook, and other corporate ESPs only provide server-based encryption.Here’s a quick comparison of all email security solutions we’ve mentioned above to help you understand why E2EE is the best method for protecting your online messages:
Email security solutionProsCons
Spam filtersProtect against unsolicited marketing and online scamsUnreliable, can be fooled, and prone to false positives
Anti-virus softwareProtects against malware and hacking attempts Unfit for new threat vectors, prone to false positives
Password protectionSafeguards the contents of your email from third partiesCan’t protect from an ESP, requires manual work, not available everywhere, relies on other devices
Email encryptionA great solution for keeping the contents of your messages privateDoesn’t prevent ESP scanning or provide enough protection from hackers if it’s server-based
End-to-end encryption Best privacy solution because it protects your messages from hackers and ESPsNot available everywhere
If you want to implement end-to-end encryption into your online communication, forget about mainstream ESPs and try Skiff—an advanced, beautifully designed, and comprehensive E2EE solution that provides the highest level of protection to your digital correspondence.

How Skiff ensures complete email security

Skiff is a free end-to-end encrypted platform with built-in E2EE. It’s your best option for sending private messages and secure documents via email.The platform’s E2EE algorithm is based on asymmetric encryption. Every Skiff user has two sets of mathematically related keys:
  1. Public key—visible to other Skiff users or, more precisely, to their devices
  2. Private key—never shared and safely stored on the recipient’s device
When you send an email through Skiff, it’s encoded with the recipient’s public key. However, the message can’t be decoded without the corresponding private key, which only the recipient has. As a result, the only two people who can see the content of the message are the sender and the recipient. Not even Skiff can ever bypass the encryption, so your emails are safe from unauthorized access, including third-party digital ad platforms and cybercriminals.

Take advantage of Skiff’s E2EE products

Skiff is more than an email service provider—the platform offers a modern productivity suite that rivals G-Suite when it comes to ease of use and security.Besides Skiff Mail, Skiff also implements E2EE in:All these tools are browser-based, but you can seamlessly access them via Android and iPhone apps and take your work wherever you are.

Exchanging private emails is simpler with Skiff

Creating a Skiff account is as simple as it gets:
  1. Visit the Skiff registration page
  2. Enter an email handle and password
  3. Explore the available Skiff products
Unlike most other ESPs, Skiff is open-source and completely transparent. Every piece of information about its encryption model is publicly available—check out Skiff’s whitepaper for more details.The platform is also future-proof thanks to its native web3 integration. You can log into Skiff with MetaMask credentials without any prior registration and tie your newly private email with your anonymous crypto transactions.Thanks to its E2EE email protocol, Skiff Mail is the most secure email service provider. Create a free Skiff account today and send emails without worrying about privacy or safety.

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