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Safe email?


doc47

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Is there any way to send important information safely via email? Can I assume my antivirus protects it? (Not!) Is there an AV program that would do this?

Or do I need some form of encryption? If so, is this available affordably?

 

 

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russell_bynum
Is there any way to send important information safely via email? Can I assume my antivirus protects it? (Not!) Is there an AV program that would do this?

Or do I need some form of encryption? If so, is this available affordably?

 

 

That depends on what you mean by "safe."

 

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In general, yes, modern encryption can help protect most email from the general public and even many sophisticated technologists. The classic is a public/private key type of encryption but this can be complex to set up and can also be very unfriendly for those receiving your email particularly if they are infrequent or new recepients. Cloud based can be much easier as it uses its own client and remote server as a connection point for both sender and receiver. Without knowing your actual needs / frequency of use etc, this product could be a candidate (caveat: I have no direct knowledge of this specific product and use it as an example only).

 

edit: If any first world goverment or any of the recoginzed hacker groups have you targeted, you're toast regardles :Cool:

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szurszewski

Are you just trying to send messages/text or are you looking to send files? I would trust any major email system to be secure enough for regular personal info (gmail, etc) and for files I'd use dropbox or similar - you upload and email them a link to download, or if you share files regularly with the same person or people, you could set up a shared folder where they would have access to anything you added to the folder.

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Possibly the easiest method would be to use a paid version of "Winzip"

Winzip includes the ability to encrypt up to "256-bit AES", which is more then anyone might need.

You enter your information into any kind of word file, then attach it via Winzip using it's encryption to your email.

The encrypted attachment will be password protected, that you have set when zipping up and encrypting the attachment.

All you have to do now is supply the recipient with the password, which can be done via phone call or some other method.

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday

From what I understand, recent versions of MS offer pretty strong encryption. So if you password-protect an Excel spreadsheet or a Word doc, it ought to be pretty safe to send via email.

 

You probably want to check on that rather than just taking my word for it, though.

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David, adding to the issue of security, given where you are living, using a VPN service might be attractive. I'm currently beta testing TunnelBear VPN for Chrome OS, and it is the first VPN that I have ever used that was easy to set up. In fact, there was no set up; just install TunnelBear, and you are going through their VPN.

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russell_bynum
Is there any way to send important information safely via email? Can I assume my antivirus protects it? (Not!) Is there an AV program that would do this?

Or do I need some form of encryption? If so, is this available affordably?

 

 

 

Again...we need to know what you meant when you said "Safe."

 

You mentioned anti-virus products and encryption. Those tools solve completely different problems.

 

If you are trying to make sure that you don't send emails that contain malware (and that malware-infected emails that you receive do not infect your computer), then you want an anti-virus/anti-malware solution.

 

If you are trying to prevent unauthorized people from reading the email and/or its attachments, then you want an encryption solution.

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OK. Sorry for being less than specific.

I want to send bank account info to my accountant in the States. This includes my acct number, SWIFT code, etc. Not the sort of stuff I'd like to share with a world full of hackers.

 

And what do you recommend for AV software? I have looked at reviews and Webroot, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender seemed to rank tops.

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If I password-protect a document in Open Office, then attach that file to an email, will the recipient be able to open it with the password?

I know, it sounds like a dumb question, but I've never used this stuff.

 

And I'm getting old....

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szurszewski
If I password-protect a document in Open Office, then attach that file to an email, will the recipient be able to open it with the password?

I know, it sounds like a dumb question, but I've never used this stuff.

 

And I'm getting old....

 

Yes - that's how it works.

 

Consider, if you're really concerned, sending parts of the info separately and from separate email accounts. (Account number via gmail, swift code via yahoo or whatever.) makes it less likely a hacker will get all the info.

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If I password-protect a document in Open Office, then attach that file to an email, will the recipient be able to open it with the password?

I know, it sounds like a dumb question, but I've never used this stuff.

 

And I'm getting old....

 

Yes - that's how it works.

 

Consider, if you're really concerned, sending parts of the info separately and from separate email accounts. (Account number via gmail, swift code via yahoo or whatever.) makes it less likely a hacker will get all the info.

 

When we use e-transfers through our bank to pay bills or ask customers to pay via e-transfers a password is required. The bank states that passwords are not to be included in the message box of the e-transfer nor are they to be forwarded via a separate email. Instead they recommend that the password be given in a face to face exchange or over the phone. I'm not sure if this helps but thought I'd throw it into the mix just in case it might. While both of these options aren't always readily available to us we can always make a veiled statement about what the password is which is something that can be referred to in an email without actually using the specific password such as a pet's name (sorry, it's a rather limp example) known to both parties.

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Bill_Walker

Doc, you might also mention what OS and version you're running. Apple Mail, for example, has public-key encryption built in. All you have to is obtain and install a private key from a certifying authority. But, of course, your recipient also needs to be able to support it. I haven't met anybody I need to send email to, including at banks, who has a clue about that.

 

Probably the safest easy way to send that info is to use fax.

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TripleThreat

Most banks in the states offer a secure email system through which they can send documents with sensitive information. You access their system via an HTTPS website and upload your files to their system.

 

I would trust that methodology far more than sending anything through a standard email service...

 

You might ask your banker...

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Ditto TripleThreat's comment.

 

Doc, check with your bank. They should have a means to send your info securely as described above.

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We got Bitdefender on 3 pc's with three different OS and I would call it extremely resource heavy, to the point of annoyance. It had better be as good as they say! I don't use their wallet,machine trace/disable or other functions as they do not have two-factor authentication.

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russell_bynum
Ditto TripleThreat's comment.

 

Doc, check with your bank. They should have a means to send your info securely as described above.

 

That.

 

 

For AntiMalware...if you're on a PC, use the free stuff from MSFT. I forget what it's called these days because they change the branding every 15 minutes...but it works well.

 

For the Mac, the only thing I've run is McAfee. It's OK.

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Bill_Walker

For antimalware on a Mac, I've found Intego's VirusBarrier to be pretty painless. But I also can't recall the last time it reported finding anything.

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Fine info, folks! Thank you.

Right now I'm downloading Avira's free download. This takes about 30 seconds in the States. And about two hours here.

I run Windows 7 and the communication I was concerned about was with a private citizen, not the bank. I managed to sell some Malian artifacts to a museum in the US and they want to send me some money. (Part goes back to the village the artifacts came from to help support their school.)

Using password protection and two email accounts would probably be pretty safe.

I'd like to buy a more comprehensive antivirus. I was looking at Webroot but it looks like it doesn't download. It seems they send a physical CD and that would take a long time to get here...if at all. If anyone has other info on this I'd appreciate it.

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