But I’ve got nothing to hide!
If you send something like the location of your extra house key to a family member or telling your colleague or friend what bank account to transfer money to using an unencrypted email, it is the equivalent of writing it on a postcard (no envelope), letting it take its routes through hundreds of prying eyes and unfaithful servants. The information is out in the open and it can be read and even changed before it reaches you without you even knowing.
Even if you have nothing to hide, using email encryption helps protect the privacy of people you communicate with, and makes life difficult for bulk surveillance systems in use today. Remember the Snowden case?
It is a known fact that government authorities and other more scrupulous groups like the NSA, is watching all internet activities closely. The reason for this has been covered as an attempt to “fight terror” and is in a double-crossing way partially true. The thing is that it doesn’t just focus on “suspected” persons activities online, but yours and mine as well.
They use advanced computational linguistic algorithms to snap up words, combinations of words and other “susceptible” ways of expressing something, trying to find hidden contexts using the intrinsic meanings of words and phrases in different combinations crossed with under-developed theoretical linguistic syntax algorithms, leading to a “profile” that who knows what they get out of.
One thing is sure: They get the contents.
I don’t mind if the NSA reads my mail…
With something as easy to interpret as e-mail, you no longer have to be a security specialist or advanced cracker to read and change other peoples e-mail. Anyone can download pre-made “hacker” tool-kit from the internet and watch everything you do on the internet, unless you correctly configure WiFi routers and use secured pairing between your wireless keyboard and PC or other wireless devices.
Tools are readily available for a so called “script-kiddie” to park his car nearby and intercept EVERY LETTER you write on your keyboard. The signals from your wireless keyboard is easily eavesdropped.
Do you trust your ISP to read your personal information?
Even if we take away the factors mentioned up until now, anyone that works for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) with access to the servers can scroll through a long listing of un-encrypted text in email communication whenever they please. So the reasons NOT to encrypt your email communication is starting to disappear.
But I don’t know anything about this!?
Luckily for everybody, the Open Source community has been developing and using such tools for years.
Not only have they developed technologies for doing this, but they’ve also taken time to create graphical user interfaces for setting up the tools you need, no matter what operating system you are using.
These products won’t cost you anything other than a little time and dedication to make a change to your rights for privacy. Descriptions and documentation is also available and easy to understand, often delivered in a multitude of languages as well.
Here is something to get you going in no time:
Mac OS X Users: https://gpgtools.org/gpgsuite.html
Windows Users: http://www.gpg4win.org/index.html
Linux / BSD Users: You know what to do… 😉
If you choose to use products mentioned in this post or in any of its links, please consider donating a little money to the Free Software Foundation, or even better, become a donating member!
Best of luck with claiming your right to privacy!