Secure email services—maximize inbox safety with the right provider

Even the most secure email service providers often merely give you an illusion of safety. Find out what makes your inbox safe and how to keep your data private.
Inbox image with encrypted text.
We’re pushed into a false sense of security online. You think that choosing the most elaborate combo of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols for your passwords and changing them often is enough to maintain a secure email account. Will the exercise keep your inbox safe? Not entirely. Can you still get hacked? Absolutely.Although personal security measures help, a service provider is mainly responsible for safeguarding your inbox. Choosing an ESP (email service provider) with appropriate credentials is a step in the right direction, so you should understand the level of security you get from your ESP before emailing sensitive info.Our straightforward guide will explain the following:
Secure your inbox with SkiffSkiff Email is a privacy-first product, ensuring only you have access to your inbox
Sign up

Secure email platforms are safe, but are they safe enough?

A secure email should be protected from unauthorized access, alterations, or loss of content. The biggest threat to email security is the number of entry points open to attacks. Password rotations and phishing filters only safeguard the email at the user’s entry point. Your data is still vulnerable to hacking while it:
  • Travels through various nodes on the network
  • Is stored on the cloud servers maintained by your email client
Every email service provider uses some form of encryption to keep the user’s messages safe during transit or while housed on their servers.Encryption is the essence of online communication privacy because it transforms regular text into signs, making them unreadable to third parties. The encrypted text is converted into the original message with the decryption key owned by the intended recipient or a participating server.

What are the least secure email providers?

Email providers with no encryption protocols will most likely get you in trouble. That’s why all prominent providers like Gmail and Outlook use encryption methods like Transport Layer Security (TLS), a network-level cryptographic setup. Unfortunately, that doesn’t provide full security, and the worst part is the user often has no idea they’re at risk.TLS encrypts your data while it moves from server to server, and the decryption key is stored on the network server. Here's what can go wrong:
  1. Your data can be compromised in the event of a network-level attack
  2. The service provider or an operator with access to the decryption key may choose to decrypt your data for some reason (the government requests the decryption or there is internal mismanagement)
  3. TLS-based security is significantly weakened if the email recipient uses a non-TLS client
Google, Yahoo, and Outlook are among the least secure email providers because they typically retain control over your inbox. Big Tech email providers also don’t hesitate to leverage user data for personalized ads. Their revenue model is based on offering free services and capitalizing on advertising. In particular, Yahoo’s privacy policy mentions that your inbox content is used to show targeted advertisements.If you want complete ownership of your inbox, you should use services with end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and device-level ciphering.

Why is end-to-end encryption necessary for safe emailing?

E2EE-enabled emails are encrypted on the sender’s end, and only the intended recipient has the decryption key, so your info is unavailable to nosy providers and server hosts. The provider itself never has access to the content of your emails.Two E2EE methods proved to be highly effective in keeping your info private and secure:
  • Symmetric cryptography uses one key for encrypting and decrypting. It has a simple algorithm, so it’s quick and elegant, but there is a potential safety risk when a key gets shared for decryption
  • Asymmetric cryptography (also called public key cryptography) uses two separate keys for encryption and decryption. Every user has a mathematically related public and private key pair. The private key is created by the user and available only to them
If you send a private email containing your Social Security number via an E2EE email, the following takes place:
EndpointWhat happens
Sender’s deviceThe message is encrypted at their endpoint with the recipient’s public key
Network serverThe message passes through intermediaries in the encrypted form, remaining undecipherable as no one has access to the recipient’s private key
Recipient’s deviceThe recipient decrypts the message with their private key—the decripting can be automatic or manual, depending on the service provider

Email providers with end-to-end encryption—what to look for

End-to-end encryption is a relatively new technique that sounds perfect on paper but has been difficult to implement on a large scale. It used to run slow because of the algorithms’s complexity, so many E2EE services were consequently plagued by:
  • Complicated UIs (especially inconvenient for users without tech knowledge)
  • Lagging performance
  • Limited features
  • High prices
Despite the functionality problems, users looking for infallible privacy—such as business owners or crypto brokers—stick to E2EE. The good news is that end-to-end encryption services improved in terms of functionality, and you can now use them without any drawbacks.
Get a top-performing email solutionPaired with modern and intuitive UI, Skiff Email ensures your data is safe and remains private
Sign up

The most popular free secure email service providers

Security and privacy issues are becoming crucial as our communication migrates online. Check out prominent email service providers that keep your data immune to cyber attacks:
  • ProtonMail—famous for its top-notch security features
  • Tutanota—liked for its simplicity and ease of use
  • Mailfence—popular for its practical features
  • ZohoMail—appealing because of its affordability
  • Skiff—highly efficient because it seamlessly merges security and productivity
Skiff uses advanced end-to-end encryption to facilitate fast, efficient, and entirely secure email service! It is not only for professionals and tech experts but offers an elegant, modern, and intuitive user interface perfect for regular users. Sign up to create your customized privacy-first Skiff account for free!

Try Skiff—the safest free email provider for everyone!

With Skiff, you are protected against various network- or browser-level threats. Your data is fully secured at user endpoints, while the server endpoints are safe from user enumeration, de-anonymization, brute-force, man-in-the-middle, and other attacks. Check out the Skiff whitepaper for further insight into Skiff Mail’s privacy-first, E2EE model.Skiff’s E2EE protocols protect your stored, inbound, and outbound content, as well as email subject and IP address. The data ownership is uncompromised because third parties (Skiff included) cannot access your content. Users also benefit from various security provisions beyond E2EE, including:
  • Zero-knowledge proof for login (to ensure personal identifiers are never stored on Skiff servers)
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) option
  • Out-of-band key verification
Skiff also offers both centralized and decentralized storage options. Skiff is currently the only E2EE service that allows optional configuration for IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) protocols, which gives users portable access to their end-to-end encrypted data, enhancing censorship resistance.Skiff is open source, so interested parties can verify the security and control offered. Unlike most E2EE providers, the platform offers a bulk of features (including email search, generous free storage, and a specific number of aliases) for free—create your account and access the complete product suite!

Secure email solution plus a full product suite—that’s Skiff!

Many privacy-oriented users want to escape the clutches of Big Tech but are too dependent on products like Google Docs and Calendar. Luckily, Skiff supports its users every step of the way—check out Skiff’s comprehensive product suite:
  1. Skiff Pages—Allows you to create end-to-end encrypted notes, wikis, and pages. It has all the essential tools of real-time writing and collaboration platform
  2. Skiff Drive—Enables each user to store up to 1 TB worth of files (10 GB available for free). Stores all types of files. It allows effortless sharing, previewing, and downloading
  3. Skiff Calendar—Integrates with Skiff Mail by default. Simplifies scheduling of personal and professional commitments and enables end-to-end encryption of all data, including:
    1. Event titles
    2. Locations
    3. Notes
    4. External attendees
You can access Skiff products in any browser or use apps for Android, iOS, or macOS.

Skiff—the ultimate user experience

Skiff designed a minimalist and straightforward user interface that you can navigate with ease. It offers top-tier customization features, so you can set up custom domains, add labels and folders, create aliases, import or migrate data from other providers, and add signatures.Skiff is among the few providers of wallet-native email and workspace services. You can log in anonymously using crypto wallets like MetaMask and Brave and enjoy next-level E2EE security for your transactions!Here’s how to get started:
  1. Open the Skiff signup window
  2. Create your username and password (or integrate with a crypto wallet)
  3. Specify an account recovery method (optional)—and you’re done!
Skiff has the most generous free plan in the E2EE landscape, which gives an average user everything they need for private and safe digital correspondence. In case your demands are higher, you can opt for Pro and Business plans to unlock additional features and more storage space.

Personal measures to keep your email defenses up

Using a reliable email service provider is vital for your online safety, but you should further tighten your defenses by:
Activating two-factor authentication (2FA)Keeping your devices lockedNot over-sharing your email addressRecommending E2EE services to your peers/network
2FA cross-checks the authenticity of the user to prevent brute-force or dictionary attacks. You bolster security by providing an additional OTP sent to your phone or secondary email before you gain access to your inboxE2EE cannot defend you if your device is hacked. Lock your devices using strong passwords and biometrics to prevent unauthorized access. You should also use anti-virus software to keep malware and adware awayWhether it’s your work or a personal email account, giving it to too many people isn’t recommended. Avoid posting email addresses on social media, as hackers are constantly scraping for new victims for phishing and other attacksRecommend E2EE services to people you regularly communicate with, especially if their current service provider has potentially unsecured servers and doesn’t use end-to-end encryption
For the uninitiated, Skiff enables stress-free migration from non-E2EE platforms—set up your account to enjoy a privacy-oriented environment!

Join the community

Become a part of our 1,000,000+ community and join the future of a private and decentralized internet.

Free plan • No card required