Nov
17

How to encrypt email with your iPhone


Security experts like to say that sending email is like using a postcard. Anyone can read it in transit. However, using encryption on an email message is like putting a letter into an envelope. lt's not totally unbreakable (otherwise, how would your recipient read it?), but very strong encryption provides good enough security for people who prefer their communications to be private. With well·encrypted email, even if someone intercepts a message, it could take years to decrypt the contents, if they're successful at all. OpenPGP is the de facto standard for encrypted email, although most people call it PGP (Pretty Good Privacy for short). Right now there's no way to encrypt your email using PGP on the iPhone through the Mail program. Instead, consider using Hushmail, which supports PGP encryption. lt's a webmail service, so you can access it from Safari. With PGP, a public key is used only to encrypt mail; it has no function for unlocking messages.

Only the recipient's private key can open the data. That way, anyone can protect a message sent to you, but only you can read it. Ordinarily, to send email to a PGP user, you tell your mail program about this person's public key. Hushmail works alittle differently, by keeping the encryption transparent to users. Hushmail users can send encrypted messages to other Hushmail users or to people who have uploaded their public keys to Hushmail. A slightly less secure option hides encrypted messages on the Hushmail server and emails the recipient with instructions on how to retrieve the message by answering a security question correctly. After five incorrect guesses, access is denied. There are some catches to using Hushmail on the iPhone's version of Safari. Before starting, be sure to close all other open Safari pages. When composing a message, once you tap the Send button, you're not done; tap the pages icon in the lower-right and switch to the main Hushmail page. lf you don't, the message won't send. Hushmail is free, but it also offers subscription services, enabling 25OMB of storage, access to customer support, and assurance that your account won't be deleted due to inactivity. Hushmail is also working on a mobile Web client, but nothing yet for the App Store.


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Tags: email, encrypt, webmail, Hushmail

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