Best practices may soon demand a move away from services like Google and Yahoo that scan your e-mail and other content.
Google and Yahoo and others rummage through your digital life to understand what ads they can best serve up. They also leave your information on their servers which means in theory that others can access it.
At work I often deal with blogs of legal corporations. Best practices demands that when I log in I do it manually, without letting Safari or Chrome store passwords. When logging out, I clear the cache on my browser. Some would go further and clear out the history. This may not be good enough.
Since I correspond with Gmail I may be putting confidential information at risk. No matter how remote the possibility, a company I do business with may not be happy with an outside party that trolls through their material.
I have been satisfied with Zoho (external link) for some time now. They offer a suite of Google like services that are ad free. No rummaging through my e-mails or docs. But Proton Mail goes beyond Zoho, to a place of perhaps unscalable security.
ProtonMail (external link) offers end to end encryption for all e-mails passing their servers. Their basic service is good and it’s free.
You register with a username and a password like any e-mail service, but then Proton requires a third step: you add what is essentially a second password, a decrypt mailbox key that can be any combination of letters or numbers. This locks and unlocks your mail service.
This unusual step isn’t the magic with ProtonMail, it’s the encryption they enable. Even they can’t decrypt your e-mail without your passwords. And if you lose that second password? They can’t help you. Your account can’t be accessed.
Will ProtonMail become my default e-mail service? Probably not, at least for now; I am imbued with the World of Google too deeply to get out too easily. But I now have an option for my most sensitive correspondence. And using it may reassure my boss and his more conservative clients.