If you’re like many people who have legitimate concerns about your email being read by government agencies and other entities, encryption is one of the options you have to protect yourself. There is an add-on for Google Chrome and Firefox called Mailvelope that makes this a fairly easy endeavor, even if you’re not that familiar with encryption or how to take advantage of it to secure your communications.
Mailvelope works on OpenPGP encryption. Essentially, you have a public key, which you share with the people that you send encrypted emails to or, in fact, that you can safely share publicly. You also have a private key, and you need both to be able to decrypt any messages sent to you.
This typically gets a bit complicated, but Mailvelope essentially reduces the entire process to a few mouse clicks.
The extension installs and creates an unintrusive icon on the menu for your browser. When you write an email, you can click on the Mailvelope icon, and go through a very simple process involving only a few steps to encrypt your email and send it to the desired recipient.
The recipient will have to have your public key to decrypt the message, but anybody intercepting the email will only get a lot of garbled characters that won’t reveal anything about the conversation. In the end, this add-on reduces the process of encrypting an email or decrypting an encrypted email that was sent to you to pressing a few buttons. If you already have encryption keys that you want to import, the add-on is provided with an easy import export feature, making it very easy for you to export any keys you are using or import keys that you already have set up.
You can download the plug-in from the project’s homepage, or use the Google Play store if you are on Chrome or search for the Firefox extension on the Mozilla site if you happen to be using that browser.
Given that it’s so easy to install and that it does make the process of encrypting emails easy, it might be worth it for people to have this option available to them. It’s one of the easier ways to utilize encryption to protect your email, and it can help people who may have some difficulty with the more technical aspects of doing so. At the very least, because of the security it provides, it’s good to have the ability to encrypt emails if you happen to be sending sensitive information, such as for business purposes.
• Mailvelope project’s homepage — https://www.mailvelope.com/