The Norman Transcript

Business

November 9, 2013

Locking down your online messages, Part 2

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Email is somewhat safer than Facebook, but only somewhat. At least with email, you are not posting private information directly to an Internet website governed by dubious privacy policies. Many experts say that information contained in emails should be considered no safer than postcards mailed at the local post office.

One telling fact should be the way many banks handle sensitive information with their customers. For example, when exchanging messages containing personal account details, my bank requires the use of a special, secured and encrypted email system. I like that.

If you need to send financial, medical or other sensitive information via email, you may want to consider using an encrypted email service like Enlocked or Countermail.

I am also looking forward to the results of the proposed Dark Mail Alliance. Formed in recent weeks by encrypted email providers Lavamail and Silent Circle, and motivated by revelations of email hacking involving the National Security Agency, the Dark Mail Alliance looks to provide a free, easy-to-use, “surveillance-proof” encrypted email system. All that’s really needed is for major email providers like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to get on board. If “The Big Three” aren’t already too deeply in bed with “The Fed” to join, the Dark Mail Alliance could be of real benefit in protecting email users from Internet scammers like the Russian Mafia. Stay tuned.

Dave Moore has been performing computer consulting, repairs, security and networking in Oklahoma since 1984. He also teaches computer safety workshops for public and private organizations. He can be reached at 405-919-9901 or davemoorecomputers. com

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