Are Encrypted Emails Safe? (Important Facts to Know)

Working with compliance standards such as GDPR has taught me the importance of encryption and email security. Email encryption is significant because it restricts and safeguards access to sensitive information sent in communication. However, are encrypted emails safe?

Encrypted emails are safe, although not entirely resistant to theft. Cybercriminals can still hack encrypted emails only if they get the private key from the sender.  Thus encrypted emails are only as safe as the encryption protocols they use and how safely users handle encryption keys.

Familiarizing yourself with encrypted email procedures will serve as a great boon to secure your information from cybercriminals. 

are encrypted emails safe

Are Encrypted Emails Safe?

No one likes thieves, which is doubly true when intellectual property theft is involved. In truth, the safety provided by encryption depends on the encryption technique and the size of the encryption key. The primary goal of encryption is to make the cost of cracking the code higher than the data value. 

Although most encryption software performs admirably, many programs have lately been shown to possess some form of weakness. Whether such defects were introduced by mistake or on design continues to be debated. As such, open-source encryption tends to be more trustworthy than commercial encryption in this aspect.

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According to the Breach Level Index, since 2013, nearly 13 million records have been exposed or lost in disclosed cybersecurity breaches. A horrifying 96 percent of the 13 million records were not encrypted. Emails were the most common method used by hackers to gain access, steal employee identities, and harvest company secrets.

One of the most secure and standard encryption processes is end-to-end encryption. It gives the user complete control over the time and place to view a received email.  Before it decrypts the encrypted text in your inbox from an end-to-end encrypted email provider, it must first get a unique private key to your account. 

Unless you’re manually encrypting emails, end-to-end encrypted tools handle everything in the background and don’t require any input from the user. 

What Happens When You Send An Encrypted Email? 

The safety of an encrypted email is only as secure as the level of encryption and the length of the encryption key. In other words, not every encryption method is equal, and every company offers a different service.  

When you encrypt an Outlook email message, the message changes from plain text to scrambled ciphertext. Only the receiver with the private key matching the public key used to encrypt the message may read it. Any receiver who does not have the associated private key, on the other hand, receives incomprehensible text.

Tutanota, an end-to-end encrypted email software, encrypts everything within an email, including message headers, subject lines, and contact information. Accessing your Tutanota account requires a password, so it needs to be challenging to crack. 

Dealing with contacts who aren’t already using Tutanota necessitates creating a password for each contact and sending it via a method other than email. Tutanota saves the password and the contact data safely, thereby providing a safe and reliable email encryption service.

Whether you use a password or a trusted device for basic authentication, you can beef up security by activating multi-factor authentication when it’s available. ProtonMail, Private-Mail, StartMail, and Tutanota enable multi-factor authentication with Google Authenticator or any other app that can generate a Time-based One-Time Password.

Can Encrypted Emails Be Hacked? 

Typically, while exchanging encrypted Mails, you’d use a program like (Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). PGP uses asymmetric encryption (making use of private and public keys). 

You may create a secure mail exchange using public and private keys: The public key (which you publish with others publicly) is used to encrypt the message, but it cannot decode it. Only the private key can do so! To send an encrypted response, encrypt it with the other person’s public key, decrypt it with the associated private key.

It is technically possible to “hack” an encrypted email and read it. However, it is only feasible if the private key, which will allow you to decode any email encrypted with its associated public key, can be attained. Gaining the private key is next to impossible due to specific encryption processes; in fact, it would take hundreds of years to do. 

What Are Some Of The Best Email Encryption Providers? 

Knowing that your email provider has your best interests at heart can go a long way in providing you with peace of mind. On that note, let’s review some of the best encryption providers out there! 


Virtru has added Google Drive end-to-end encryption to its Gmail/G Suite end-to-end encryption. It now also safeguards Azure and Office 365 infrastructure. Implemented integration with McAfee DLP and Titus data protection solutions and critical management integration with Intel vPro chipsets.

The Virtru Developer Hub provides object-level data security in any app or device. It includes a comprehensive set of software tools for managing encryption keys, setting up access controls, and integrating security and privacy into an open-source data format.


Zix maintains its industry leadership with a suite of products covering a wide range of encryption modalities, including email gateways and end-to-end encryption solutions.

ZixPort is a secure online gateway that may decrypt and reply to communications by any message receiver. Its HTML push product, ZixDirect, sends you an encrypted message as an attachment. The recipients decode these in their browsers. 

The firm also offers cloud hosting and on-premises gateway products for the entire spectrum of services. Zix also protects against spoofing and phishing.

Zoho Mail

Because Zoho offers a variety of IT solutions, including a password manager, its Mail functions best when used in conjunction with other Zoho products. This service includes secure data centers that need biometric verification to access. There’s also anti-malware and anti-spam protection, as well as end-to-end encryption.

This secure email enables two-factor authentication (2FA) for further account protection. To authenticate, users can use Zoho’s authentication app, an OTP, a QR code, or Touch ID. 

Zoho Mail is available as a web application or a smartphone app; these apps are flexible and can also be configured for other third-party mail clients. The interface is simple and appealing, which is vital if you frequently use your encrypted email. You may also use OAuth 2.0 to access your inbox from other applications.


Encrypted emails are exceptionally safe. Cybercriminals know it is nigh impossible to access an encrypted email without the private key – so keep it safe and hidden! 

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