I wrote about this back in the summer, but after a web server failure I was unable to restore it like it was. I’m tired of trying and decided to just rewrite the post and get it as close to the original as I can.
I’m probably a bit more sensitive to this than the rest of you given I made the move into cybersecurity about a year and half ago, but it’s certainly something that everyone needs to consider, especially when so much of our life is digital now. No matter what you do online, almost everyone website and organization want your email address. It’s their direct way to communicate with you automatically, and to push their products and services upon you. Sometimes this is needed and wanted, but most others it’s just a pain in the ass. What’s really frustrating is when I end up on a mailing list that I didn’t want to be part of. If you’re like me, then you get a ton of stuff targeted toward you. “Alexis, It’s great to see you interested in XYZ, so please reach out to us so we can help you do whatever.” I don’t have time for that mess and I hate cleaning it up.
Another problem we have to worry about is the privacy and security of our email. I’m sure most of you are using some form of a ‘free’ email service from Google, Yahoo, or one of Microsoft’s products, but you may not realize there are more options out there. Some that are just as robust and even more secure and private. Out of the three major free email providers, Google is by far the most secure, but it’s certainly not the most private. Google goes to great lengths to secure it’s platform, and they have the money and expertise to do it. Unfortunately, they are extremely invasive and at one time used a machine to read your email and deliver ads to you. What if you have naked photos or sensitive personal information like banking or government identification numbers? As most of you already know I am a very private person, and I place a high level of importance on maintaining it. Let’s go over a couple of solutions I use that could help you.
Secure and Private Email
I wanted to go over establishing a secure and private email option first. You will need a good email address (or addresses) when using the next tactic to hide your email from marketers and creepers. For your primary email address it should be something that can be used as a professional looking email. Maybe something with your first name and last name, but if you have a common name, you may want to add a professional credential like MD, JD, PhD, etc to distinguish you from the rest. This email can be used for all of your important things like utilities, banking, tax, insurance, kids school, job searches, and other important parts of your life where you need a solid, reputable email. The second option is to have an email address that is just for your family and friends. This will be something can be more personable that describes you, and does not have to be so professional. This can be something like nakedswimmer, nudedude, alexishikes, or something that you like and is fun. It may seem like a lot of work, but I keep that separation of professional and personal.
I’ve used Google for many years now. I was actually part of their invite club many years ago before Gmail went mainstream and overtook the email landscape. Now everyone uses Google. However, a few years ago I came across an email startup who focused their business practice on privacy and what the community wanted. To this day they still seek community guidance when adding features and fixing things. ProtonMail may not have been the first email provider to offer encrypted email, but they have the best platform, and arguably the most secure and private one. ProtonMail offers many products and almost all of it is free unless you want premium features.
- Free email address with 500 MB of storage
- Free access to ProtonVPN and basic servers
- All email with a ProtonMail email address is end-to-end encrypted
- Servers are located deep inside of the rocky Swiss Alps (great physical security)
- Encrypted calendar (coming soon)
- Mobile Apps
- Import your old email directly into ProtonMail
- Increased mail storage
- Additional email addresses/aliases all in one inbox
- Faster VPN servers
- Early access to features
- More customizable
- Use your own domain name
Personally, I pay for both the ProtonMail Plus and the ProtonVPN Plus features. I think it’s like $8.47/month and around $200 for two years. You get bundle discounts and more for paying in advance. If you don’t need or want the premium VPN service, then you can get by with about $40-$50 a year. If you don’t want to pay for the service, then that is fine too, and you can get a free email address…or many email addresses if you want. However, ProtonMail may not be for everyone, so let’s look at our next option.
Tutanota is another choice similar to ProtonMail where they have an end-to-end encrypted service for any emails sent within their system. So if you send an email to anyone with a tutanota.com email address, then you can be certain no one will be reading it but you and the other party. Tutanota is a German company where they have strict privacy laws in place for citizens, but not quite a strict as Switzerland. Here are the features for Tutanota:
- Free email address with 1 GB of storage
- All email is end-to-end encrypted
- An encrypted calendar is already in place
- Mobile Apps
- Servers located in Germany
- Custom Domain
- Increased storage (for higher tiers)
- Multiple calendars
- Multiple email aliases
- Inbox rule
- Enhanced support via email
Tutanota offers a variety of other features depending on your need, but I won’t discuss that here. It’s just not relevant to me or you. I’ll let you go check it out yourself. Although I don’t use Tutanota for everyday email, I did setup a sensual nudist email address for anyone who wants to send me email through their tutanota email address. The first part of the email address is sensualnudist, if you’re interested.
I know there are a number of secure and private email providers, but most are lacking some criteria I looked for. First and foremost is it must be end-to-end encrypted by default. Second, it must have free options for users. Next it must be user friendly and an inviting design. Finally, it must have mobile apps for both Android and iPhone. I don’t expect everyone to run out and start making new email accounts. Let’s face it, changing email addresses is usually more difficult than changing your cell phone number. I’ve had my cell phone number for 20 years, and I cringe at the thought of having to change it. If you’re ever at a point where you need a new email address, or you just want to take additional steps to be more private, then please consider one of these (or similar) options.
Get Naked. Stay Naked.