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How safe is email?

Email was created in 1971. Now, 60 years later, it is still one of our most effective ways to communicate. Half of the world’s population uses it, and email is such a part of our daily lives that we may not even think twice before hitting the send button. But is the data you send secure? How can you stay safe when using email?

In fact, data sent by regular email is susceptible to cyberattacks from the outside. These attacks can lead to serious privacy breaches, sensitive data leaks and financial fraud. To minimize the risks, companies must invest time and resources training employees about how to recognize threats, and what to do in case of a security breach. However, even the best efforts cannot guarantee that your email is protected. 

What type of information is vulnerable?

The personally identifiable information (PII) that makes its way into our inboxes, messages and folders may include: 

  • Names 
  • Home or other physical addresses 
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Social Security numbers
  • Passport numbers 
  • Driver’s license numbers 
  • Bank account numbers 
  • Credit or debit card numbers 
  • Photos, fingerprints, handwriting or other unique biometric data 
  • Dates of birth 
  • Passwords, Mother’s maiden name, etc 
  • Racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs 
  • Trade-union memberships 
  • Genetic data, biometric data processed solely to identify a human being 
  • Health-related data 
  • Data concerning sex life or sexual orientation 

Some of these items are obviously private, while others may seem relatively harmless to send in emails. However, any of them, especially in combination with others, can potentially identify a person.  

It’s not hard to imagine the damage that could be done if an unauthorized person got access to your emails and found a person’s name, date of birth and mother’s maiden name. 

Still, we need a fast and convenient way to share all of this information safely. Therefore, companies that use email as a daily means of communication should consider adding email security software that keeps all the sensitive personal information they send and receive encrypted and secure, while still being simple to set up and easy to use. 

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    What type of email security software should you choose?

    Our email security software must always be one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. There are a variety of options out there to help you keep data safe when using email. We could divide them into 3 flavors: 

    • Certificate-based solutions, which require a certificate be installed on both sides. 
    • Tunnel mail. This is mainly a Danish concept, where a secure tunnel is established between two companies (CVR number). The downside is that it requires some installation on both sides, and it cannot reach consumers. 
    • A safe email portal that lets you exchange encrypted files using the email you already have. This is the solution we recommend. It does not require certificates or special installation, it is lower cost; and it can be shared with any type of email, anywhere in the world. 

    This last option has the advantage of instant setup, and lets you communicate freely with your customers, partners, and others with confidence; ultimately creating a safer environment to conduct business. 

    Why use a safe email portal?

    A safe email portal lets you send and receive personally identifiable information (PII) safely from the email you already use. Only the proper recipient can access it, so hackers will not be able to steal any of the valuable information you share. 

    The portal opens in the email you already use. Open the portal anytime you compose a message to send and request files quickly, with built-in protection against viruses and malware. 

    The easy way to make email safe

    A simple add-in makes email encryption easy. With ShareSimple, you get the following: 

    • a user-friendly email solution that lets you send and receive encrypted folders right from Outlook. 
    • verification of recipient and sender identities. 
    • encryption without certificates that works for comunication between all companies and private individuals. 
    • automatic handling of consent and audit logs. 
    • an integrated solution that connects systems to relevant documents (SharePoint, OneDrive, Dropbox, and the like). 

    Just add ShareSimple from the AppSource store, start a new message, then open the secure ShareSimple window to drag and drop files, share text, or request data securely to/from any person or business in the world.  

    The recipient does not need to download ShareSimple, they just verify their identity with a one-time password to access a secure folder to receive/share data from/with you. ShareSimple works anywhere in the world, and regardless of upload size, web browser or certificates. 

    Getting ShareSimple for your whole team is a huge step forward in email security, and an easy and affordable way to show others that your company protects their personal info. The first 14 days are free for as many users as you want, then pay by the user after that. 

    Try it now  →   

    Sebastian Allerelli

    Governance, risk, and compliance specialist