Initiatives like Data Privacy Day help. Held on January 28th, it’s a day focused on raising awareness, promoting privacy, and encouraging people to control their ‘digital footprint’.
But while most of us know online security is essential, there’s a tendency to forget about email.
The problem is that email is everywhere. It’s as normal as picking up the phone, or chatting face to face. So we fire off emails every single day, only stopping to think about security when we’re sending something particularly sensitive.
And yet email’s inherently insecure; easy to compromise using the most rudimentary packet sniffing techniques. Email is a source of significant risk – in terms of both your finances and your reputation – and must be secured.
But who can you trust with this important task? The answer is simpler than you might think.
Let’s face some facts – there are times when people have very good reasons to get inside private emails.
In 2013, the FBI obtained a court order to clone the Tor Mail server as part of an investigation. The sort of investigation we’d all be in support of.
But while the service is undoubtedly used by individuals with something to hide, law-abiding, privacy-conscious individuals use it, too.
This wasn’t the cloning of specific sets of data. This was an entire server, an indiscriminate data capture exercise.
And so the issue here is one of collateral damage. The FBI had access to private emails – from people other than their initial targets – and those users had no idea that their privacy had been breached.
Tor Mail users had found a service they thought could keep their emails safe. A service they could trust to take responsibility for securing emails and keeping them private.
But the truth is that trusting someone else to look after your emails is always a leap of faith.
I don’t think the next generation of email security is centred on better encryption algorithms or more tiers of authentication (although these will come).
And I certainly don’t think the answer is finding an email service that you can trust.
The reality is it’s time to take responsibility for your own privacy.
That’s why, at Alpha Generation, we’re behind Galaxkey and committed to supporting it through the UK channel – because it’s a solution that lets you take responsibility.
Galaxkey doesn’t have access to your keys, so if somebody wants to access your data, you know about it – and you decide whether it happens or not.
You take responsibility for your own email, and that’s a good thing.
Lee Morton is an IT distribution support and encryption veteran. He has been supporting the channel since 1998, working his way up from helpdesk support technician to heading the services team. Lee took the lead in encryption training, services and consultancy in 2007 and became the go to technical resource for SafeBoot ahead of its integration into the McAfee product range. A trainer, consultant and support resource for the channel. You can reach him on LinkedIn.