Why Are You Still Using Email?

Over the past 30 days, more than 20,000,000–that’s right, 20 MILLION–email accounts have been hacked.

Only around 80% of email providers support TLS. TLS is what allows your email be sent encrypted, received encrypted. Even if the email provider supports TLS, there is no way to know if the recipient is using an email application that supports TLS.

Simply dealing with email encryption is beyond most users. Heck, it is beyond most IT consultants.

Not only is email encryption beyond the skillset of most consultants, it is beyond those of Phil Zimmermann, the cryptographer who invented PGP! PGP is the granddaddy of all email encryption. In a recent interview, he said he himself has stopped using PGP because of difficulties with it.

Email is a wonderful, but legacy, technology. As such, it brings all of the legacy shortcomings along for the ride. Email was never designed for security, so any security option has to be bolted on. And this introduces bugs, conflicts, costs, and migraines.

So I have to ask you, Why are you still using email?

My guess is inertia. It’s what you have used to communicate for so long, it has become a boat anchor that feels like an old friend.

The younger the user, the less they use email. In fact, it is unusual to find teens using email at all. Instead, they use instant messaging.

The great thing about instant messaging (when it is done right) is it can be created from scratch with security in mind. This eliminates all of the problems associated with encrypting email.

At the moment there are two leaders in the end-to-end military-grade encrypted instant messaging area: Signal (https://signal.org), and Wire (https://wire.com). One is as secure as the other.

My personal preference is Wire, because it is available on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and anything that can open a web browser. Wire allows fully secure instant messaging, voice calling, and video calling. You can encrypt attachments, and even schedule when a message self-destructs.

Wire is free for personal use, for-fee for business team use.

Signal is free for everyone.

The only reason I can see for not using Signal or Wire is an organization that has a compliance requirement to maintain a record of all communications. This is typically only the healthcare (HIPAA) and financial (SEC) industries. For everyone else, Give up your phone, turn off your email, get a Wire account. Save some money, secure your communications, and sleep better at night.

Warmly,

Marc L. Mintz, MBA-IT, ACTC, CWT
President & CIO
Mintz InfoTech, Inc.
505.814.1413 x 1
Wire: @marclmintz
Signal: 505.453.0479