Encrypt Your Gmail Message The Very Easy Way with SecureGmail Chrome Extension

If you are using Gmail in Google Chrome, here is a Chrome extension that is going to make your daily email messages super secure with strong encryption at the time you press that Send button.

Secure Gmail is an encryption tool that encrypts and decrypts emails you send and receive in Gmail. All encryption process happens right all on your machine before the unecrypted messages even touched the Gmail servers, which makes extremely useful if you are intended to send sensitive information over through emails. No one would ever be able to read your messages in email without knowing the password you set up in the first place.

And let’s see how it works, which is going to deadly simple.

First, get Secure Gmail extension installed in your Chrome, and it can be done in seconds.

Then, after refreshing your Gmail, you will see a little lock icon appearing right next to Compose Email button in your Gmail.

Secure Gmail - Lock icon

Secure Gmail – Lock icon

Clicking the lock icon opens the New Message window with encryption capability.

Secure Gmail - new secure new message window

Secure Gmail – new secure new message window

Now once you finish composing your email, click that Send Encrypted button to start the encryption process and deliver the email. You will be prompted to put a password to encrypt the message.

SecureGmail - Password prompt

SecureGmail – Password prompt

Then the email gets secured with strong encryption and sent away. And on the other end, the receipt will also need the same Chrome extension to be able to decrypt the message and read it.

SecureGmail - encrypted email before decrypted

SecureGmail – encrypted email before decrypted

SecureGmail - to decrypt it

SecureGmail – to decrypt it

That’s fairly easy and looks very impressive. But how secure is it? And what kind of encryption does the service use to secure the message? Based on what it described on its Chrome Extension page:

SecureGmail uses symmetric encryption to encrypt and decrypt each message. The password is decided by the user and assumes the recipient already knows it.

SecureGmail uses an open source JS crypto library from Stanford available here (http://crypto.stanford.edu/sjcl/) and also on Github (http://github.com/bitwiseshiftleft/sjcl).

It isn’t on the top line of encryption method but still fairly strong enough to hold your messages secure.

It’s also worth knowing that Secure Gmail Chrome Extension is developed by the folks behind Streak with is also a CRM system designed specifically for Gmail that’s worth checking out. If you are looking for a CRM system based on your Gmail, Streak may be the one that works well for you.

While Secure Gmail is an extremely useful tool to secure your daily emails, it has its natural limitation that may impact your extensive use of it. It only supports Gmail on Chrome, so if the recipients are not using the same, this will not work. Plus, the encryption also encrypts the email body but not the attachments in the email.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/04/2014

Posted in: Tools
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