On some messaging services, including WhatsApp and Signal, your communications are end-to-end encrypted. When this encryption is applied, the contents of the messages are only readable on the devices of the sender and the recipient. When this content passes through the Meta or Signal servers, it is encrypted and unreadable. As a result, it becomes impossible for a government to access this content on the servers, even when it has a mandate in good and due form.
And the good news is that more and more online services are adopting this type of encryption. Google, for example, already offers (really) secure email to some of its customers. As reported by BleepingComputer, which relays an information page from Google, this is still a feature in beta. And this is only accessible for customer organizations of Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, or Education Standard offers.
How does Gmail encrypted email work?
Hoping that Gmail’s encrypted emails land in a stable version, and for everyone, later, the firm is already giving us a preview of the functionality. Currently, to take advantage of this, interested and eligible organizations must enroll in a beta program. Then, there is also a procedure to follow, to prepare the accounts of the organizations to use this feature.
Set up client-side encryption for Gmail (beta) pic.twitter.com/AVLpmwGdop
— John Nevin (@JohnBNevin) December 18, 2022
Once this is done, sending end-to-end encrypted emails is simple for users. When composing the e-mail, the user only has to activate a new option offering “additional encryption” to the e-mail. Then, all that remains is to send it as usual.
For his part, the recipient will see a mention, indicating that the message is encrypted. Gmail may require it to connect to an identity provider to access content. Note that this end-to-end encryption protects the content of the email, the attachments, including the images in the message. On the other hand, elements such as the subject, the list of recipients, or even the timestamp are not end-to-end encrypted.
For its part, Apple secures iCloud
We discover this novelty of Gmail, whereas recently, Apple announced an update of iCloud which will also secure the information stored online by the customers of the apple brand.
“iCloud already protects 14 categories of sensitive data using end-to-end encryption by default, including passwords in iCloud Keychain and health data. For users who enable Advanced Data Protection, the total number of data categories protected using end-to-end encryption increases to 23, including iCloud backup, Notes, and Photos”said the Cupertino company.
However, this encryption does not apply to iCloud Mail. And it’s still only available in the United States. It will arrive in the rest of the world in 2023.