N.B: Before we get into things for simplicity, in this post, we will use the terms’ secure’ and ‘private’ interchangeably. You can read more about the difference in meaning and application of those terms in our blog: Security vs Privacy.
You’re on the hunt for a private email solution. You search ‘secure email’ in your search engine and are met with 7,510,000,000 search results. Astounded by the sheer volume of results, you edit your search to be more specific, hoping that will narrow the results.
…’ secure email with best encryption’ returns 66,100,000 search results – cue feelings of frustration.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, don’t worry. By the end of this post, we will have helped with:
- Clearing the up some of the confusion around all your options
- Providing some guidance on what the best choice might be for you when communicating privately online.
The number of private communication solutions available seems to keep growing as more and more people become conscious about their privacy online.
On the one hand, this is great; it shows an increasing awareness for the need to protect the user’s privacy online. On the other hand, it can also be a hindrance. As the choices available continue to stack up, it can be quite difficult and overwhelming to know what solution(s) is right for you?!
To get the most out of this post, you will need to keep the questions below in mind as you read the sections below:
- Is your current mailbox secure?
- Is the mailbox of the contact(s) you are communicating with secure?
- Does what happens to your information after it is sent to your contact(s) matter?
- Do you need an automatically organised and clear history of communication?
- Is it important that your contact(s) can easily access the information you send?
- How important is it that the solution fits easily into your existing routines?
Let’s get started by clearing up the difference between a ‘Secure Email’ service and a ‘Secure Email Delivery’ service. At first glance, the difference between the two might not be so obvious. However, there is a big difference between the two types of service.
A ‘Secure Email’ service focuses primarily on privacy and security at the senders’ end. Whereas a ‘Secure Email Delivery’ service, focuses on both privacy and security of both the sender and the recipient.
Let’s look at the features of a ‘Secure Email’ service more closely.
For simplicity’s sake, you can think of ‘Secure Email’ services as secure mailboxes.
Imagine it like this; you have a filing cabinet for all the letters you receive in the post. Once stored in this cabinet, information can only be accessed by a key that only you possess. Secure Email services are the filing cabinet.
These services are designed to keep your information private once it has arrived in your mailbox. Therefore, they focus their efforts on securing information at your end once it is in your possession (remember the filing cabinet?).
With Secure Email services, it is all about protecting your privacy once information has been delivered to you.
That being said, most also provide some ability to send encrypted emails. However, Secure Email services only grant your recipient(s) access to your information rather than deliver these emails (like a letter in the post).
Typically, this requires your recipient(s) to have a secure email mailbox or involves using a password to secure your email. Usually, this requires, you the sender, to share the password, to grant your recipient with access to your email, by some other means. Unfortunately, this normally won’t happen securely.
For businesses that use Secure Email services, emails sent by the business are never truly ‘delivered’ to the recipient. Instead, the email (information) is kept secure at the businesses end, and their recipient(s) are granted access; usually only temporarily via password, to information.
Secure Email services are replacements for mailboxes that aren’t secure and don’t store information privately. This means they are best for people that want to replace their existing mailbox with a secure and private equivalent.
If your main concern is protecting information at your end and not the delivery of information or experience at the recipient end. Then a Secure Email service might be a good option for you.
Now, what about Secure Email Delivery Services?
Secure Email Delivery services focus on what happens to an email during delivery, and once it has arrived at its intended recipient.
Remember our analogy for Secure Email services, of the filing cabinet keeping your post secure?
Well, with secure email delivery services, now there’s two filing cabinets; one for you and one for your recipient(s). And your post? Well, that is sent by special delivery and signed for at the door.
Unlike, with Secure Email, these services are about both ends of the communication.
A secure environment is created for both you and your recipient(s) to communicate, share, and store information. Overcoming, needing recipient(s) to have a secure mailbox or forcing the sender to password-protect their emails.
They are also not intended to completely replace your current mailbox, unlike Secure Email services, where the aim is to move all information into a secure mailbox. Instead, Secure Email Delivery services sit alongside your existing mailbox as a separate secure and private place. Allowing you to keep and communicate your important information away from your current mailbox.
Rather than replace and discard your existing mailbox completely, they are designed to be used alongside them. Enabling you to keep your important information private, and still use your current (non-private mailbox) for other non-sensitive information like newsletters, subscriptions, promotional offers, etc.
If you want a way to communicate your sensitive information privately with others, without having to replace your existing mailbox, Secure Email Delivery services present a great solution for this.
Now you know the main difference between ‘Secure Email’ services and ‘Secure Email Delivery’ service. Let’s summarise:
||Secure Email Delivery
- Replaces your existing mailbox
- Keeps all information sent to the user private
- Secure information once it arrives at the user’s mailbox
- Relies on your recipient(s) having secure mailboxes or requires password protection
- Used alongside your existing mailbox
- Keeps your current mailbox for all non-important information
- Provides a secure mailbox to keep your information secure and private
- Secure information during delivery at both your (sender) and recipient(s) end
- Automatically creates a secure mailbox for the recipient(s)
It’s clear both services have their strengths and are great for different needs. So, how do you decide what is best for you?
When it comes to protecting your information and privacy online, the choice does not have to be so black and white. It shouldn’t be a hard case of ‘either’ ‘or’. You can combine services to give you a solution that covers all your needs.
If total privacy, when communicating online, is your goal, then using both a Secure Email service and Secure Email Delivery Service is a great combination. The Secure Email service to provide you with a private mailbox and a Secure Email Delivery service to protect your information during delivery and at your recipient(s) end.
How does StayPrivate help?
StayPrivate is a Secure Email Delivery service. Designed to be used by everyone, with anyone. StayPrivate secures information while it’s being delivered and once it has arrived. Providing users with all the security of post and convenience of email. No need to worry about password protecting emails or whether your recipient(s) have a secure mailbox, StayPrivate takes care of that for you. Even better yet, your recipient(s) don’t have to sign up for an account to be able to securely access and reply to your emails.
You can find out more about StayPrivate here.