Email is an indispensable part of our lives. It has become the primary communication tool for businesses and individuals worldwide.
Without a doubt, it’s one of the most important (if not THE most important) tools we have in our personal and professional lives.
However, the convenience of email communication also makes it vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals.
Hackers can access your personal and sensitive information if you are not using a secure email provider. A secure email provider with advanced security features can help protect your personal data from cyber threats.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the security features that are essential for secure email providers.
20 Security Features Essential for Secure Email Providers
There are dozens of secure email service providers out there, including Protonmail, Mailfence, Tutanota, Posteo, Start Mail, and many others.
So how do you figure out which ones are the best secure email providers? Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that you’ll want to pay attention to when looking for an email service provider.
1. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA is an additional layer of security that provides extra protection against unauthorized access to your email account.
It requires you to enter a code from your smartphone or any other device, along with your password, to access your email account.
This security feature adds an extra layer of security to your email account, and it’s essential for secure email providers. This should be one of the first features you consider as you’re exploring your options.
2. End-to-End Encryption
End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and receiver of an email can read its contents.
An encrypted email service encrypts the body of an email before it’s sent and decrypts it only when it reaches the recipient. This way, nobody else, not even the email provider, can access the confidential information in the encrypted messages unless they’re in possession of the encryption keys.
A secure email provider should offer this encrypted email feature by default, though it’s important to note that there are several types of encryption services, including PGP encryption, that might be used.
3. Data Encryption in Transit and Storage
Aside from email encryption, general data encryption is a crucial security feature for email providers. It ensures that email data is protected from unauthorized access while in transit or file storage space.
It’s the process of converting plaintext data into ciphertext, which can only be read by authorized parties with the correct decryption key.
This feature provides an added layer of protection, preventing hackers from intercepting and reading your emails.
4. Email Filters and Spam Protection
A secure email provider should have spam filters that can differentiate between real emails and spam or phishing emails.
Advanced spam filters protect email accounts from unwanted and potentially harmful emails. This feature is necessary for secure email providers because it keeps the inbox clean and free from spam, phishing, and other malicious emails.
5. Multi-Platform Compatibility
A secure email provider should be compatible with many different devices and platforms.
Whether you are using a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, your email provider should have apps and software that work seamlessly across these devices.
This feature is essential because it allows users to access their email accounts from any device without compromising security.
6. Strict Privacy Laws
One of the most important features of a secure email provider is compliance with privacy laws.
Depending on where you live, there may be strict privacy laws in place that protect your data. Look for providers that comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) if you live in the US.
These laws give you greater control over your data and hold companies accountable for how they use it. There are even laws surrounding things like cloud storage, so it’s a good idea to look into these and find a service provider who will do the best job at upholding these laws to keep your data safe.
7. Integration With Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc
Another important feature to look for in a secure email provider is integration with popular email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.
This feature allows you to use your preferred email client while still enjoying the benefits of a secure email provider. It also makes it easy to switch to a secure email provider without changing your favorite email client.
8. IMAP/POP Support
A secure email provider should offer IMAP/POP support. This allows end-users to configure their email client to work with different devices or platforms.
If you travel frequently or use multiple devices, this feature is essential as it makes it easier to access your emails from anywhere.
When you’re using a secure email provider, logs play a vital role in security. Logs are digital records of all activities and transactions within the server.
These records are essential for tracking and identifying any suspicious activities or intrusions within the server. If your email provider does not keep logs, it makes it harder to identify and neutralize suspicious activity in the future.
Your email provider must keep logs for at least a week. Longer periods of log storage are preferable because it helps identify any long-term malicious activities.
10. Metadata Stripping
Metadata stripping is a vital security feature that is often overlooked. Email metadata contains essential information about the sender, recipient, and the email route taken, along with the IP address.
This information is valuable to hackers who are looking to target and use personal and confidential information.
Secure email providers will have tools to strip metadata from your emails, effectively removing sensitive information to prevent such targeted attacks. Make sure your secure email provider offers metadata stripping to prevent any unauthorized access to your sensitive information.
11. Server Location
The location of your email server can affect the security of your email. Many countries, such as Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and Belgium, have strict privacy laws that protect customer data.
These locations are ideal for storing email servers because they offer legal protection against data breaches and unauthorized access.
Secure email providers operate their servers in these countries; hence, they provide additional layers of security and privacy protection.
Again, make sure that your email provider operates its servers from these locations, as it provides an additional layer of security.
12. Email Storage Space
One of the most essential security features that every secure email provider should have is a decent amount of storage space.
This ensures that you have enough space to keep all your important emails, attachments, and files for a more extended period of time.
This feature is particularly helpful when you need to store sensitive information that you don’t want to lose or delete. When choosing a secure email provider, make sure to check the storage space offered by the service.
For example, secure email provider, Sekur, offers up to 100 GB of storage space for users, ensuring you won’t run out of space anytime soon.
Archiving is another crucial security feature that every secure email provider should offer.
Archiving ensures that all your emails are securely backed up and can be retrieved if and when it is necessary.
This means that even if you accidentally delete an important email or your account is hacked, you’ll always have a backup of your data. Automatic archiving is the way to go!
Without hesitation, every secure email provider should offer an ad-free experience for users.
This is because ads can be quite intrusive and can compromise your privacy. In fact, there have been instances where pro hackers have used ads to inject malware into users’ devices.
Choose an email provider that is ad-free, as it reduces the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches.
There are several providers that offer an ad-free experience for users, from Hushmail to Proton to Zoho Mail, Sekur to CounterMail, which will ensure that your data and privacy are always protected.
15. Paid Plans vs. Free Account Options
You might be tempted to spring for the email option with the most affordable pricing, and we don’t blame you.
Most email service providers will offer both a free and paid version of their service. While a free version may be tempting, it can come with limited security features and may not be worth the savings.
As a contrast to free email, paid plans generally offer more security measures, such as encrypted messages, end-to-end protection, and added storage space.
By investing in a paid plan over a free plan, you are guaranteed a more secure and trustworthy email service.
16. Open Source Software
One of the most important security features for a secure email provider is the use of open-source software.
Open-source software is source code that is openly shared and developed by the public. This means that anyone can review and make modifications to the software.
Open-source software is generally considered to be more secure than closed-source because it allows for greater transparency and collaboration between developers.
By using open-source software, you can trust that there are fewer vulnerabilities or backdoors within the software that could compromise your security.
17. Secure VPN Services
Another essential security feature for email providers is the use of a secure VPN service.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, works by encrypting your internet connection, making it difficult for hackers and third parties to snoop on your online activity.
By using a VPN service, you can browse the web and send emails with added security and privacy.
18. Custom Domains
It may sound basic, but a secure email provider should allow users to use a custom domain.
This feature is especially important for businesses and corporations. When using a custom domain, a small business owner can personalize their email addresses and make them unique to their company.
This not only looks more professional, but it also helps in brand recognition. Plus, custom domains are less likely to be flagged as spam, since they have more credibility than free, public email providers.
If you want your emails to look more trustworthy to the people receiving them, a custom domain is the way to go.
19. Digital Signatures
Another security feature that secure email providers should offer is digital signatures.
If you’re unfamiliar with the lingo, a digital signature is like a virtual signature for your emails. This feature uses encryption technology to verify your message’s authenticity and ensure that it has not been tampered with.
Having a verified digital signature is essential for anyone who sends sensitive information through email regularly, such as HIPAA-protected data.
This feature provides an extra layer of protection, which can prevent hackers from accessing confidential information.
20. User-Friendly and Good General Functionality
Last but certainly not least, secure email providers should be intuitive and user-friendly. This means offering features that promote good general functionality, such as an easy-to-use interface or high-speed connection.
Even if a provider offers top-notch security features, these are useless if the interface is difficult to navigate or confusing to use.
Secure email providers should offer a seamless and intuitive user experience that encourages users to make full use of their security features regardless of what’s being used to access the email.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a private email or a business account, mobile apps that are accessed from an iOS or Android device, a Microsoft Windows desktop or an iMac. The most secure email service doesn’t just prioritize security – it also prioritizes the user experience.
Who is the Most Secure Email Provider?
If you’re in the market for a new (and buttressed!) email provider, Sekur is the way to go.
They put security and user privacy first, offering end-to-end encryption, email aliases, and a variety of other features to make secure webmail as convenient and easy to use as possible.
This Swiss-based company is one of the best around for security, offering premium plans at affordable prices. Whether you’re using your email for professional or personal use, remember – security reigns supreme above all else.