How often do you open your email and wonder whether anyone else may have looked at it before you? If your email is not encrypted, you may have a good reason to worry.
Encryption involves encoding information sent in emails so that third parties cannot read it. Emails that are not encrypted can easily be read by hackers, or the government, if they are intercepted.
In June, Google released data showing that only 50 per cent of all Gmail email exchanges were encrypted.
But Google is urging email providers to make an effort to encrypt emails. Data released by Google last week shows that 75 per cent of outbound messages from Gmail and 55 per cent of inbound emails to Gmail are now encrypted – a respective rise of 10 and 5 percent over the June figures.
Google has also invited its users to ‘explore’ or download the encryption data it has amassed. Users can look up any domain or string and see how much of their emails to gmail accounts is encrypted.
Google is using a number of measures to encourage email providers to encrypt their emails. One of Google’s most powerful incentives is to offer to improve a search engine ranking of a site, if that site agrees to encrypt its emails.
Competitor Yahoo plans to follow Google’s lead and make its email service more secure in 2015, Fortune reported last month.
Gmail users can rest easy, most of the time — all emails between Gmail account users are automatically encrypted.