What private information can you share securely via email?

In this series, our cyber security experts answer the most searched questions on Google on securing digital communications, working safely from home and eliminating the biggest cyber risks. In video and written format. 

Today Zivver’s Senior Product Manager, Teresa Mendez addresses the following: what private information can you share securely via email?

The short answer is none. If you’re really concerned about keeping private information strictly confidential, you shouldn't use or send email that isn't encrypted. 

If a company is serious about protecting confidential information, employees should not be allowed to send privacy-sensitive information using regular email. 

But what is privacy-sensitive data? This can entail a number of things, if you share personal data, payment details, and also the password of accounts, for example, it’s better to send the information encrypted, using two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is also referred to as multi-factor authentication or second factor authentication. It’s a method of confirming a recipient’s identity before they can access information that’s been sent to them. So you can still use email to send privacy-sensitive data in a way that has an enhanced level of security. 

Read more: What is 2FA and why is two-factor authentication so important?

Privacy-sensitive data attracts more than hackers

It's not just hackers who may want access to your data. There are also big enterprises such as Microsoft and Google who could look to make use of it. If you take the time to read through the terms of service of one of these large companies, you might be surprised at how much information they can glean from scanning your email.

If you communicate with your friends via email about your birthday, for example, both your date of birth and your name can be valuable information to them, and possibly hackers who could use that information at some point in the future. It’s best to avoid that situation wherever possible.

Our advice; clearly list for yourself and your organization which data you want to share unsafe via email. If this is potentially privacy-sensitive data that you wouldn’t want lying out on the street, choose a software solution such as Zivver to ensure that these communications can be properly secured.

Are you working with the right easy to use tools to help secure employer data with a distributed workforce? Are they widely used by your employees? Download the 'Safeguard sensitive information while working from home' e-book, to learn how to prevent data breaches from happening. 

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Written by

Kevin Lamers

Originally published on October 26, 2020

Last update on October 30, 2020