Email Encryption

What Does Email Encryption Mean?

Email encryption refers to an encryption and authentication mechanism of an email message to prevent the contents from being read by an unauthorized recipient. Email encryption methodology largely depends on public key cryptography wherein users publish a public key that can be used by others to encrypt messages.All this while keeping a secret private key to decrypt messages or to sign and digitally encrypt messages they send.

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Techopedia Explains Email Encryption

Email encryption hides the email content from eavesdroppers by encrypting it into an unreadable form. Emails can be encrypted and decrypted by means of a digital signature mechanism that uses public and private keys. The public key is shared with everyone while the private key is kept private.

Following are some commonly used email encryption protocols:

  • PGP
  • S/MIME
  • Identity based encryption
  • Mail session encryption
  • TLS
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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.