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Getting Started with Email Encryption
Last modified on 09 October 2017 01:16 AM

StartMail considers privacy a fundamental human right. Privacy is our mission! StartMail makes email encryption easy - to help protect your digital privacy.

What is encryption? 

Encryption is transforming data in such a way, that it becomes unreadable by anyone who doesn't have the key to decrypt this data. It helps ensure that the only people who can read your email, are you and your intended recipient(s) - only them. Encryption works by converting your original data ("plaintext"), into a form called "ciphertext", which is simply encrypted plaintext. Decryption converts the ciphertext back into plaintext, so that it can be read.

In order to encrypt and decrypt a message, a user needs a public and private key. The public key is used by the sender to encrypt a message, and is available to to the pubic. A private key is used by the recipient to decrypt the encrypted message. The private key is always kept secret, and is known only to the recipient. Please consult this Wikipedia page for more information about encryption. 

What are the benefits of encryption? 

Encryption is beneficial when carrying out any kind of sensitive transactions.  For example, credit card purchases, financial, medical or any other sensitive data could be protected with encryption. Wireless communications are particularly vulnerable to snooping by third parties and could also be protected through encryption. 

How does StartMail incorporate encryption and how do I get started?

There are two different methods through which you can encrypt an email with StartMail; the Question & Answer method, and the PGP Encryption Method.

Question & Answer Method
By default, you can encrypt the contents of your email using a Question & Answer method. This encryption method should be used to send emails to recipients who do not use an email service that offers encryption (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, etc.). Follow this link to learn how.

PGP Encryption Method
For superior privacy and security, encrypt the contents of your email using PGP keys. PGP encryption should be used to send an email to recipients who also have a Startmail email address, or use any other email service that offers encryption. To learn how to set up PGP Encryption in your StartMail account, folllow this link.

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