Free Encrypted Email, Free Encrypted Chat

Protect your privacy and security in your communication


Free Encrypted Email, Free Encrypted Chat

Encrypted email allows you to protect your confidential email from casual prying when you communicate with others. Encrypted chat does the same thing when you go online to chat. Loosely speaking, encryption works by taking your plain text message and scrambling the output so that it is unintelligible to someone who views it without decrypting it. To read it, the recipient must decrypt the message using a password (or key).

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Free Encrypted Email Services and Software

GPG: GNU Privacy Guard

This is the GNU version of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a public key encryption system. Like all things GNU, it is free and can be freely distributed and modified. It is generally compatible with the newer PGP versions (depending on the encryption algorithms you choose); but you should read their FAQ for more details.

sbwave email encryption

This free service allows you to send and receive encrypted email via a web form. At the time of this writing, there are no advertisements inserted into your email. The encryption is "light to moderate", and the site advises that you should not use it for anything requiring strong encryption - that is, it is designed for personal messages and not for anything that requires strong security. You and your recipient need to have an email client that can interpret HTML email.

Hushmail Email Encryption

This is basically a free web email service that also encodes your email using a 1024 bit public key encryption. You can encrypt your attachments as well, but there is a 1.5MB limit on the total attachment size at the time of this writing. You can only send email to other hushmail users. Your mailbox is currently limited to 3MB of space. If you need to send/receive confidential email, and can persuade your recipients to also use hushmail, you might wish to try this service.

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) Public Key Encryption

The above link is to the International PGP Home Page, where you can get free binaries and sources for Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) for a variety of operating systems for either US or non-US countries. You can use PGP to encrypt your email in conjunction with your email client, be it Eudora, ELM, PINE, or whatever. PGP is a public key encryption system, which means that you have two keys (passwords), one which is known only to you and the other is known to your recipient. Messages or documents (or whatever) encoded with one key can only be decoded with the other. You can read more about this from the PGP FAQs at the site.

Free Encrypted Chat

PSST Easy Encrypted Instant Messaging

If you are concerned about security and privacy when you chat with others on the Internet, this open source chat utility for Windows and Linux allows you to communicate using encryption without your message going through a server (it's a peer to peer tool).

X-IM Free Encrypted Instant Messaging

X-IM encrypts the messages passing between you and others as you chat with them on the Internet. Your messages pass through the vendor's server, and if the person you're chatting with is not online, the message is held till he/she comes online. The client allows for group conferencing and filtering of messages. At the time of this writing, the supported platforms include Windows 9x, ME, 2000 and XP.

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