Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

E-mail Confidential

Reader Asks How To Ensure Only Intended Recipient Can Read The E-mail

Q: I read your article on using WinPT to encrypt e-mail. But I don’t think that will work for me. I am an appraiser, and I need a way to ensure that confidential documents are seen only by the customer, and I need that document to be locked down. I do not want the client to be able to forward it to some other party, or be able to alter the contents. I use Acrobat to create locked PDF’s but how do I handle the encryption?

A: Dear Reader, I think what you need is a Mission Impossible type system, and once the e-mail is opened, a recorded voices says, “This e-mail will self-destruct in 10 seconds… 9…8…” Ha! (hint: google “self-erasing email”)

Seriously, I did write a series about using GPG and WinPT (see Who’s reading your (e-)mail? Part 1) to generate digital certificates. That topic didn’t do too well — too technical, probably — and so I wrote about a much simpler method (see Simple E-mail Encryption) where you get a certificate and ‘plug it in’ to your e-mail client. (Both these have the advantage of being free.)

And you are correct: those methods will not prevent your clients from forwarding the e-mail once they’ve opened (decrypted) them. They are used point-to-point, to ensure privacy during the transit.

To make sure that your recipients cannot forward, or copy>paste your confidential documents and e-mail attachments, I recommend using the “Pro” version of eCipher, which costs $80/yr. This will prevent printing and forwarding of your messages.

Today’s free link: There is a free site that lets you send confidential e-mails using a unique method, and gives you lots of control (including preventing forwarding). Checkout WatchDox.

Today’s free download: Folks, There is also a free version of eCipher which is very easy to install and use. If you are concerned about privacy and confidentiality, check it out.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

Share this post :

June 1, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, encrypting files, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments