The importance of defending our privacy was highlighted last year, when the extent of the NSA surveillance programs was revealed by Edward Snowden. Many were shocked at the thought of having their online conversations scrutinized and the concern over privacy has grown since then, prompting users to look for ways to ensure that their right to privacy and freedom of speech are not affected. Internet offers an incredible platform to express our opinions and to share knowledge and ideas with people from all over the world. This is why, it is worrying to think that our communications are not as private as we thought and that the freedom to use internet anonymously is being attacked. Fortunately, there are email providers that value the importance of privacy and are committed to offer a service that guarantees that your online conversations are secure. We present you a list of email provider alternatives that respect your privacy.
Hushmail: One of the most popular private email solutions available. This Canadian company is known for their solid service that has been around since 1996. They offer different paid plans to encrypt your emails.
ShazzleMail: Founded in 2006, this Arizona based provider is committed to protect the privacy of its users. You can download the email application for free and send private emails from your smartphone.
Protonmail: Even though Protonmail was only launched recently and it is still under development, it has earned a lot of recognition. The project started at CERN |(European Organization for Nuclear Research) when a group of scientists got together to discuss their concerns about privacy online. Proton mail will offer end-to-end encryption to protect emails from third-party monitoring.
StartMail: Private search engine StartPage is currently in the process of launching their own private email service. StartMail is still in testing phase but it is set to offer a great option to keep your email conversations secure.
TorGuard.net: It offers an anonymous email service that allows you to guarantee the security of your email conversations, as long as the other party is also using an OpenPGP compatible email.
NeoMailBox: This Swiss company offers a secure and fast email service with high encryption and anti-virus protection. The features include IP hiding to maintain your privacy.
4SecureMail: 4SecureMail promises the same level of security used by financial institutions and healthcare organizations.
RiseUp.net: RiseUP is a project that aims to offer online communications alternatives that allow people to keep control of their privacy. They offer secure and private email accounts.
Austici/Inventati: This Italian organization also stands for privacy and cyber rights and they offer communication tools, including a mailbox service, to enable people to protect their privacy online.
OpaqueMail.org: A free email library that offers encryption, message signing and decryption to ensure that users can manage the security of their emails.
CounterMail: This easy to use email encryption service, offers a top level of security and privacy for your email communications.
CryptoHeaven: It offers secure email with end to end encryption and storage services. It offer free trial accounts as well as paid services that allow you to communicate privately.
S-Mail: A secure service that allows you to protect your communication from prying eyes. It offers top-grade protection that keeps all that data that your transfer secure and private.
KeptPrivate: With KeptPrivate you can send secure messages, even if the recipient does not use the same service. You can also encrypt messages stored on the server.
Special mention: Lavabit
Although Lavabit ceased to exist in 2013, after Edward Snowden revealed the magnitude of the NSA monitoring, the provider deserves to be remembered for its commitment to privacy. The company took the brave decision of shutting down after the government intervened to get access to their customer’s information. Lavabit is gone but the fact that they put the rights of their customers over their business demonstrates their strong position to defend online privacy.