How to communicate securely

How to communicate securely

How to communicate securely 150 150 Tony Davidson

I’m often surprised to find that clients have sent important confidential information by e-mail. These same clients would ensure if they were posted they were in a sealed envelope – they certainly wouldn’t leave them open for anyone to read.

But that is essentially what they are doing sending these via e-mail. In most cases e-mail is less secure than sending a postcard. With a postcard it’s only the postie that would read the message. With e-mail there are a lot more people who may gain access.

So how do you communicate securely?

My recommendation for sending passwords and similar messages remains the free software Signal, a secure messaging system. In addition to text messages it also allows photos videos and the like. It’s also extremely easy to use and doesn’t require your phone to be running once you’ve set it up on your computer. A recent additional feature allows you to make secure voice and video calls.

Encrypted e-mail is a a very real option and I will cover this in a later article. But in the meantime, how do you securely send documents via e-mail? E.g. your bank records to your accountant?

The easiest method (and free to boot) is to use 7zip and use the AES-256 option to compress the file. E.g.

I think it goes without saying that you don’t send the password with the e-mail!

Ideally send the password to the recipient via Signal. A less secure method (although still better than e-mail) would be to send the password via SMS. You can of course simply call the end user and advise them the password.

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