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ProtonMail

ProtonMail is an email encryption service that is available on desktop and mobile devices. It uses ‘End-to-End Encryption’, which means that only your intended recipient can access the information you send them. No third party can intercept this data - even ProtonMail cannot access it. This means you can securely send confidential client information by email. Along with the emails, all attachments are encrypted and the service is fully HIPAA compliant.

Your recipients won’t need any special software to view your encrypted messages, but there is a process for them to follow. If they don’t have their own ProtonMail account, they will be sent a password hint (for example, your first name) in order to access the email and attachments. For additional security, you can also choose an expiry date for each email. This features means that after the date selected, your email is no longer available. You can stick with the default expiry date, which is 28 days, or choose your own.

One great feature of ProtonMail is that the software still works on older versions of Windows and Mac, so there is no need to worry if you still have Windows 7 or Snow Leopard (10.6).

Whilst you can sign up for a free account, it doesn’t come with many features. To get the most out of this software, you’ll need to sign up for the Professional package, which is priced at a reasonable €8 per month (€6 per month when paid annually) for each user. The Professional Package gives you up to 50 users, each with 5GB of storage. It also gives you priority support, which is not available on cheaper packages.

Even though the free account is easy to install and use, you can only attach files of up to 25MB per email. This may not be sufficient for all your needs. If this is the case, your options are to upgrade to the paid version or send the attachments separately in multiple emails, which does not give a great user experience to the person receiving your multiple emails.

It is worth noting that because ProtonMail is so strict about privacy, you can’t recover your data if you forget your password. But this is part and parcel of email encryption services, so shouldn’t put you off.

Overall, ProtonMail is easier to use than similar email encryption services, but you should definitely take 20 minutes or so getting to know your way around before you need to use it properly.