How to Encrypt Your Gmail Message and Protect Your Privacy

In the wake of the PRISM event and the statement that Google make “ Gmail users have zero reasonable expectation that their communications ...



encrypt-gmail-iconIn the wake of the PRISM event and the statement that Google make “Gmail users have zero reasonable expectation that their communications are confidential“, perhaps it is definitely time for all of us to get up and start to look at privacy issue more seriously. We have discussed plenty of privacy precautions and measures you could take, but we never really discuss about securing your email, particularly Gmail privacy.

Google doesn’t encrypt your message automatically. In fact, it'll even scan your mail content in an attempt to serve you related ads. If you are planning to repair things up by yourself, there is a Chrome extension - Secure Gmail, that allows you to encrypt your email.

Note: Secure Gmail is just available for Google Chrome.

1. In Google Chrome, install the Secure Gmail extension.

2. If you are already logged into Gmail, refresh the browser. If not, login to Gmail. You should view a “Lock” icon near the Compose button. Click on it.

secure-gmail-lock-button-beside-compose

3. A new secured Compose window will pop up. You can now compose your message just like you usually do. Notice that towards the bottom, it shows a “Save failed” icon when Gmail efforts to save a draft of your message. This demonstrates your draft message isn't saved in Google server.

secure-gmail-compose-window

4. When you are done composing your message, go through the “Send Encrypted” button. A dialog box will show up to prompt you to enter the password with this message. The recipients will have to enter this password to decrypt the material.

secure-gmail-encryption-password

5. This is what the recipient might find when they open the encrypted message.

secure-gmail-recipient-encrypted-mail

6. To view what it's all about, the recipient have to click the “Decrypt message with password” link and enter in the password. If they was without the Secure Gmail installed, there will also be a prompt to allow them to install the extension.

secure-gmail-message-decrypted


Conclusion


At the second, using Secure Gmail could be rather cumbersome as it's available limited to Google Chrome and both you along with the recipients require the extension installed. However, for encrypting Gmail message, this is currently the best answer you can get.

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