If email security is of the utmost importance to you, I have two things to share with you today that can help you with your privacy goals. First I want to introduce a service called VFEMail.Net, they are an online webmail service with a strong focus on security. We also have Codecademy discounts so that you can learn some essential skills for encrypting emails. We’ll get into how to do that below.
If you’ve never heard of Codecademy before it’s an online learning platform that specializes in programming languages and related services. They have a limited free version, much like VFEMail.Net, but they also have their Pro version which can even get you certified in coding languages. You’re going to need to some intermediate level coding skills to properly encrypt emails, and Codecademy is the place to get them. Although their prices are quite reasonable to start with, there is no harm in getting a further deal by using one of their Codecademy discounts. Follow the link above to see what they are.
What is VFEMail.Net?
VFEMail.Net is an online email or webmail service started in 2001, and at the time it was the only email service to integrate anti-virus and virus scanning. The founders set it up after the ILOVEYOU virus spread quickly through email services, as at the time none of them had virus protection. The way it works now is that it scans all incoming email for potential threats, and if any is found the email will not even reach your inbox. They also have excellent spam filtering, using grey listing as well as public and private white and blacklists to determine if incoming messages are spam or not. They also use the SpamAssassin software.
They have a free account with a very limited amount of space & functionality, only 10MB, but you could always use VFEMail.Net as a sort of gatekeeper to filter out any potential threats and spam and then download the messages to a different webmail client with more storage or a local machine. They also have paid accounts starting at $15 per month with more features and storage space.
How to encrypt emails with VFEMail.Net
You can encrypt emails using Horde, which is the email software employed by VFEMail.Net. Essentially you will need to enable PGP functionality, with PGP standing for Pretty Good Privacy. It’s been the standard of email encryption since 1991, you can enable this in Horde under the Preferences menu. Honestly, as the name implies this level of encryption is ‘pretty good’, although if you are sending sensitive attachments I would use a specific file sharing service instead of email.
Encrypt Emails from a Website Form
This is where you’re going to need your skills from Codecademy. So let’s say you have a form set up on your website and it automatically sends out a reply whenever somebody fills out that form. If you don’t want your personal or even business email going out to anybody who fills in the form (including bots) then it’s a good idea to ‘spoof’ or make it look like the message is coming from a different, likely fake email address. This is obviously more complicated than the scope of this article and why I suggest using Codecademy discounts to obtain the skills you need to be able to do it. If you are interested in learning how, sign up for an account and start studying!
What about the hack at VFEMail.Net?
After 20 years of no issues whatsoever, in February 2021 VFEMail.Net was hacked and all inboxes and messages on the servers were deleted. If you had emails on the server that you were storing there, they were permanently gone and irretrievable. Although this was an unfortunate incident, it was an isolated one. By positioning themselves as one of the most secure email providers out there, VFEMail.Net was definitely making themselves a target for people looking to prove something. However, given that this was the first time in 20 years they’ve had an issue, I’d actually say that’s pretty impressive. What other email providers can boast that kind of track record? They are a very reputable service, and I’d still recommend them to anyone looking for secure email.