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Email Privacy Matters, Here’s Why


We all rely on email to communicate and stay connected with our friends, family, and colleagues. In fact, more than half of the world’s population actively uses email. But have you ever considered how private your emails really are?

When it comes to online privacy, many people tend to focus on things like tracking cookies and browsing history. But protecting your email privacy is just as important, if not more so. Emails contain a lot of personal and sensitive details, such as financial or health information, and login credentials that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.

Here, we’ll explore why email privacy is so important and what steps you can take to ensure your email remains private.

Email is Not as Private as You Think

Imagine that you’re writing an email to a close friend. You might write about all sorts of things that you don’t want anyone else to know about, like your deepest thoughts, feelings or secrets. You may even share your latest financial statement with a tax advisor, or medical records with a doctor.

We often expect security and privacy when it comes to sending emails, but the truth is that sending a standard email is comparable to sending a postcard: there’s no envelope or other protective barrier that shields the content of your message as it passes through the internet. Emails can therefore easily be seen, read, or even copied by anyone delivering your message.

If this wasn’t concerning enough, there’s more. Gmail, Yahoo, and other popular email services scan and analyze the content of your emails to generate targeted ads. They also keep copies of your emails, sometimes for months after you deleted them. This means that any email can be retrieved from your account if needed and shared with third parties, such as government agencies, upon request.

Another threat to your email privacy are phishing emails. An increasingly common method of cyber attack, they can have devastating consequences if successful. According to a 2020 report, a shocking 91% of cyber attacks start with a phishing email containing a link, attachment, or piece of code that can give the hacker access to the victim’s computer or network.

While email is a fundamental form of communication, it can put your privacy at risk. There are many precautions we can take to protect our confidential information. We can use robust passwords, enable two-factor-authentication, and refrain from sharing too many personal details. But the safest way to protect your email privacy is by using a secure email service.

How a Secure Email Service Can Help Protect Your Privacy

Let’s say you want to send your financial information to your tax advisor. You obviously don’t want anyone else to see that message, so you put it in a locked box and give the key to your intended recipient to ensure only they can unlock the box and read its content.

A secure email service works kind of like that locked box. When you use a secure email service, you can protect your messages by using encryption. Encryption is like a secret code that makes your messages unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the key. This helps protect your privacy and keep your messages safe from prying eyes.

In addition to encryption, secure email services often have other features that can help protect your privacy, such as anti-phishing measures and advanced spam filters. These features make it harder for someone to intercept your messages, hack into your email account or steal your personal information.

Protecting Yourself from Ads, Tracking and Surveillance

The rise of cyber crime and data leaks have contributed to the emergence of various secure email providers. Each focuses on different security attributes to protect your inbox from intruders and spam.

If you want to do more to protect your emails, we recommend using the service offered by StartMail. StartMail’s user-friendly platform makes encrypting emails to anyone easy (even if they don’t use encryption themselves). And they support IMAP/SMTP connections so you can set it up on your mobile device. The company is based in the Netherlands and subject to the stringent privacy policies of the EU. Another unique feature is that you can create unlimited email aliases – disposable email addresses that act as a shield for your real email. They let you sign up for services, register for coupons, or communicate with others without giving away your main address. Other providers limit the number of aliases you can create, but with StartMail you can generate as many as you want.

Every single one of us relies heavily on email to communicate and remain connected. To safeguard our sensitive data and prevent unwanted access to our emails, it is vital that we finally recognize the importance of email privacy.


Robert E.G. Beens, StartMail Co-Founder and CEO:

“It’s important to be aware of the type of information you’re sharing online and with whom. Unfortunately, in most cases, our online data is sold, manipulated, stolen, or exposed on the open web. This can lead to many unwanted consequences. Seeing annoying ads that follow you around the internet is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many worse scenarios that can materialize from your data being used in malicious ways without your consent, like phishing attempts or identity theft, while Big Tech companies and marketeers never share the profits they make from stealing and collecting our personal data and using it for marketing purposes. That’s why taking measures to protect our privacy online is so important. “

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