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What is Email Security?

Last Updated : 03 Mar, 2023
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Email (short for electronic mail ) is a digital method by using it we exchange messages between people over the internet or other computer networks. With the help of this, we can send and receive text-based messages, often an attachment such as documents, images, or videos, from one person or organization to another.

It was one of the first applications developed for the internet and has since become one of the most widely used forms of digital communication. It has an essential part of personal and professional communication, as well as in marketing, advertising, and customer support.

In this article, we will understand the concept of email security, how we can protect our email, email security policies, and email security best practices, and one of the features of email is an email that we can use to protect the email from unauthorized access.

Email Security:

Basically, Email security refers to the steps where we protect the email messages and the information that they contain from unauthorized access, and damage. It involves ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of email messages, as well as safeguarding against phishing attacks, spam, viruses, and another form of malware.  It can be achieved through a combination of technical and non-technical measures.

 Some standard technical measures include the encryption of email messages to protect their contents, the use of digital signatures to verify the authenticity of the sender, and email filtering systems to block unwanted emails and malware, and the non-technical measures may include training employees on how to recognize and respond to phishing attacks and other email security threats, establishing policies and procedures for email use and management, and conducting regular security audits to identify and address vulnerabilities. 

We can say that email security is important to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and ensure the reliability and confidentiality of electronic communication.

Steps to Secure Email:

We can take the following actions to protect our email.

  • Choose a secure password that is at least 12 characters long, and contains uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters.
  • Activate the two-factor authentication, which adds an additional layer of security to your email account by requiring a code in addition to your password.
  • Use encryption, it encrypts your email messages so that only the intended receiver can decipher them. Email encryption can be done by using the programs like PGP or S/MIME.
  • Keep your software up to date. Ensure that the most recent security updates are installed on your operating system and email client.
  • Beware of phishing scams: Hackers try to steal your personal information by pretending as someone else in phishing scams. Be careful of emails that request private information or have suspicious links because these are the resources of the phishing attack.
  • Choose a trustworthy email service provider: Search for a service provider that protects your data using encryption and other security measures.
  • Use a VPN: Using a VPN can help protect our email by encrypting our internet connection and disguising our IP address, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept our emails.
  • Upgrade Your Application Regularly: People now frequently access their email accounts through apps, although these tools are not perfect and can be taken advantage of by hackers. A cybercriminal might use a vulnerability, for example, to hack accounts and steal data or send spam mail. Because of this, it’s important to update your programs frequently.

Email Security Policies

The email policies are a set of regulations and standards for protecting the privacy, accuracy, and accessibility of email communication within the organization. An email security policy should include the following essential components:

  • Appropriate Use: The policy should outline what comprises acceptable email usage inside the organization, including who is permitted to use email, how to use it, and for what purpose email we have to use.
  • Password and Authentication: The policy should require strong passwords and two-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized users can access email accounts.
  • Encryption: To avoid unwanted access, the policy should mandate that sensitive material be encrypted before being sent through email.
  • Virus Protection: The policy shall outline the period and timing of email messages and attachment collection.
  • Retention and Detection: The policy should outline how long email messages and their attachments ought to be kept available, as well as when they should continue to be removed.
  • Training: The policy should demand that all staff members take a course on email best practices, which includes how to identify phishing scams and other email-based threats.
  • Incident Reporting: The policy should outline the reporting and investigation procedures for occurrences involving email security breaches or other problems.
  • Monitoring: The policy should outline the procedures for monitoring email communications to ensure that it is being followed, including any logging or auditing that will be carried out.
  • Compliance: The policy should ensure compliance with all essential laws and regulations, including the health 
  • Insurance rules, including the health portability and accountability act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)(HIPPA).
  • Enforcement: The policy should specify the consequences for violating the email security policy, including disciplinary action and legal consequences if necessary.

Hence, organizations may help safeguard sensitive information and lower the risk of data breaches and other security incidents by creating an email security strategy.

Now, Let’s look at how to enable the confidential mode in our Gmail account. With, there is a feature called confidential mode that we may use to safeguard our email.These are the steps to use this feature: 

Step 1: On your computer, go to Gmail and click compose as shown in the below screenshot.


Step 2: If you have already enabled confidential mode for an email, click Edit in the bottom right corner of the window to add an expiration date and a passcode. These setting impact both the message text and any attachments.


If you select  “No SMS passcode,” recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly and those who don’t use Gmail will receive an email with a passcode.

On the other hand, if you select the “SMS passcode” recipients will get a passcode by a text message for that you have to provide the recipient’s phone number.


Step 3: After providing the phone number click the save button.

Step 4: In the next step write the email and sent it to the recipient.


Remove Access before Expiration: 

We can prevent the receiver from viewing the email before it does. Prior to the message’s expiration date or until the sender removes access, the recipient may examine the message and any attached files. This mode disables attachments and prevents us from copying, pasting, downloading, printing, or forwarding message text. 

Even so, while this mode aids in preventing receivers from unintentionally sharing your email, it does not stop them from capturing screenshots or images of your messages or attachments

It does not stop receivers from capturing screenshots or images of your emails or attachments, though this mode does make it more difficult for them to unintentionally share your emails with others. The message or attachment can still be downloaded by the recipient even if they have malicious software installed on their computer.

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