Secure Email in Switzerland: ProtonMail
Before coming across the ProtonMail crowdfunding campaign, I was an avid user of email services like Yahoo and Gmail. However, Yahoo was only putting in a minimal effort to keep me safe, and Gmail, although secure from hackers and account breaches, was not fully encrypted. ProtonMail however, was marketing itself as the all-inclusive solution for encrypted email. Based out of Switzerland, ProtonMail providers end to end encrypted email that keeps your communications private. It is free, open source, and they have zero access to user data.
ProtonMail also employs some great security features that actively work to keep both your account safe, and your communications completely private. The first great security feature is the use of two passwords in the login process. The first password accesses your encrypted mailbox and the second password decrypts it. There are ways to employ fully encrypted email without using a dual password method but I prefer typing in two different passwords every time I log in. This allows me to store the first password in my Bitwarden Vault and the second in my head. Even if someone gets into my Bitwarden account, they aren’t getting into my email. Another feature I really like is self-destructing emails. This allows really sensitive communications to take place within a set period of time, thus reducing the chance of them getting leaked to an unwanted party. Alongside this, ProtonMail allows you to encrypt emails to users who do not have a ProtonMail account using their secure reply feature. This gives us a chance to sort of impose the level of security we want on those we are communicating with.
Lastly, ProtonMail now also offers the ability to link your domain name with your account and upgrade for premium features. This gives us a chance to use our own domain, which provides trust to those we communicate but does it all through the ProtonMail servers making everything fully encrypted. My email for my domain name ‘cryptoseb.pw’ flows seamlessly through the ProtonMail servers and provides me with a more secure email for communication, while giving me the benefit of keeping my online persona “findable” and tailored to me.