Tips to maximize the confidentiality of secure emails

This summer, Hushmail was featured on Selling the Couch, a podcast that helps aspiring and current mental health private practitioners become better business owners. We had a terrific chat with Melvin and, among other things, he asked us for tips on how to make sure you are sending secure email. So, we decided to discuss this topic in further detail in this post.

Since healthcare practitioners are ethically and professionally required to protect their clients’ sensitive information, it is a must to understand best practices for sending secure email. And while Hushmail supports their compliance requirements by providing a secure email service, they, and the rest of us, need to know some simple but crucial tips to make the most of Hushmail’s services, and maximize the confidentiality of emails.

Ensure emails containing sensitive information are encrypted

Emails between Hushmail customers are automatically encrypted, so you don’t even have to think about it. However, emails sent to people who don’t use Hushmail are not automatically encrypted. To encrypt this type of message, all you have to do is make sure you check the “Encrypted” checkbox before sending the email.

If you use a third-party email app, such as Mac Mail or Outlook, to email someone who doesn't use Hushmail, it is sent as a regular email. To ensure you are adding an extra layer of security, use our webmail or Hushmail for iPhone app and check the "Encrypted" checkbox.

Pause before sending

Taking a short pause before hitting send sounds obvious, but it is an important step that may prevent future complications. When you are sending an email, take a moment to make sure that the email address you entered is that of the intended recipient. Double check email addresses that complete automatically, and if you have multiple acquaintances with the same name, be sure you're emailing the right one.

Know where to put sensitive information

When you send an encrypted email using Hushmail, the subject lines and recipient lists are not encrypted. Therefore, keep sensitive information within the body of the email and attachments, which are encrypted.

Avoid fraudulent emails

Practicing caution is equally important when you receive emails. If you get an email from someone you haven’t corresponded with before, don’t be too hasty to trust the message. Fraudulent emails are difficult to differentiate from authentic messages. If you question whether an email is authentic, pick up the phone and directly confirm with the sender.

Protecting sensitive information is a concern for all of us. Following a few simple steps will ensure that sensitive information remains confidential: always encrypt sensitive information by making sure the “Encrypted” box is checked before you send it, don’t include confidential information in subject lines, verify that the recipient email address is correct, and confirm the authenticity of incoming emails.

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