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3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Secure Email App

Ciphr Team
June 15, 2020 - 8 min read

Choosing a Secure Email App

At Ciphr, we understand that keeping up can sometimes be easier said than done. In the pursuit of digital privacy, that statement couldn't ring truer.

The use of email has dominated most of the previous decades as the go-to communication style for businesses. However, email-related cyber attacks are today’s most common threats to online communications. A study by the University of Maryland reveals that a cyber attack takes place every 39 seconds. Email is by far the leading attack vector, responsible for 96% of malware, cyber espionage and data breaches.

So how do we forge ahead with email when we aware of the risks?

Switching to a secure email service is not something you can afford to neglect. Let us show you why.

With so many different types of secure email apps to choose from, prioritizing features and benefits is key. Whilst powerful security and strong encryption might be crucial priorities for some apps, others might opt for more user-friendly features at the cost of security.

To find the perfect match for you, here are 4 things to consider when choosing a secure email provider (and one prime example, of course). Ultimately, we’ll outline why you don’t have to compromise on functionality when prioritizing your privacy.

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Security is your top priority

Above all, you want your secure email provider to keep your email communication safe. Unvetted third parties should never have access to the contents of your emails or metadata. This includes advertising companies, unauthorized governmental authorities and hackers.

Unsure whether the app you like is also the safest choice? Be sure to ask yourself these questions:

  • What encryption standards does the app use to protect your emails?
  • Does the app include added security features?
  • How does the app secure my email data at rest?

First things first, let’s begin with question one.

A basic standard for most secure email apps is end-to-end encryption, but that’s just an elementary requirement. More advanced encryption protocols include stronger encryption standards like ECC-448, AES-256, SALT Hashing, TLS encryption and more. If an app offers you all the above, you’re heading in the right direction.

As for the other two questions, some apps offer additional security features like auto-lock timer, pinned certificates, VPNs and more. An app that combines all these features is hard to find, but if you do then it’s definitely worth looking into.

If you’re after one more thing to look for in an app, check out Composite Key. This is when you, the user, keep half of your encryption keys on your device and the secure email provider safely stores the other half on their encrypted servers.

Composite Key is highly efficient in preventing brute-force attacks.

A secure email provider respects your privacy

Data and information security should be foundational to a secure email app. But you also want to consider how the app protects your privacy. We tend to think of privacy and security as different focuses; security relating to the protection of your communication information and privacy as the protection of your anonymity as a user.

Consider the following when evaluating the privacy of an app:

  • What privacy features does the app offer besides end-to-end encryption?
  • How much personal data is required to register for an account?
  • How does the company handle your personal data?
  • Do you control your own encryption keys or does the app provider?
  • Can you remain anonymous throughout an email thread?
  • How much data does the app collect about you and your app usage?
  • Are your contacts encrypted?
  • Does the app have any reported backdoors?

You won’t always find a direct answer to these questions, but if you see any of the following features, you’ll know you’re in good hands:

️User-generated and controlled keys ✔
️Private key regeneration ✔
Self-destructing emails ✔
Anonymous email addresses ✔
️Zero-knowledge policy ✔
Clear privacy policies ✔
Limited information collected for account set-up ✔

Don’t give up on productivity

Forgive us for stating the obvious: secure email apps need to be secure. But we can’t forget about why we’re sending emails in the first place. Having great email functionality is as important as security features. A great secure email client should combine security with ease of use. Why not look for an app that provides both?

  • Does the email app help you stay productive?
  • Does it make it easy to stay secure?
  • Does the app offer a broad range of functionality?
  • Does the app make email communication easier?

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Ciphr: Secure Email App Example

At Ciphr, we’re a privacy-first company. Ciphr Mail is our secure email app developed with one goal in mind: to protect private email communication.

We adhere to the highest encryption standards, including ECC-448 encryption for emails and attachments, end-to-end encryption and Composite Key brute force protection.

Ciphr was designed with the mission to protect your complete digital privacy. As such, our app enables user-controlled encryption keys, anonymous mail addresses and self-destructing emails. These features ensure sensitive data does not remain on your device longer than necessary.

Despite its formidable security, the app doesn’t compromise on functionality. We promote productivity by offering secure email, chat and storage. Ciphr’s intuitive design makes the app easy to learn and use, and the search encrypted folders’ features make it easier to stay organized.

Most importantly, the team behind Ciphr Mail is devoted to protecting the security and privacy of our users. The saying “nothing is free” has never been more accurate than in relation to the digital explosion of the last 20 years. Free services like Facebook and Google (and countless others) rely on the collection and use of personal data to fuel their business.

If you have to ask, “how does this app developer make money?” chances are it’s from data collection. When choosing a secure email app, understanding the app provider’s mission can help you find one suited to your digital privacy needs.

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