E-Mail Services and how encryption fits.
How does a standard e-mail system work?
A standard email system, ie... gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail and the like, all use what is known as "plain text" as they transmit the messages from your computer to your recipient. A plain text message is unsecured and so is the transmission of that text.
So, the pipeline between your computer and the email server system is in plain text that is unsecured. It offers no protection against being compromised by a variety of different of attacks.
What is Secure E-Mail?
When you log in to your FortisMail email service we always use a secure HTTPS interface. This is a secure pipeline from your computer to our email server. This secures all your transmissions between your computer and our server from the outside world. Think of it this way, we put all your communications between your computer and our server in an armored truck and transport it back and forth. This protects against many different kinds of attacks between your computer and the outside world.
What is Encrypted E-mail?
Encrypted E-Mail takes the next step and applies a very high standard of encryption to the actual email itself. The email must be decrypted once it arrives at it's destination to be readable. Encryption puts the message inside a "steel safe" that scrambles the message so it is unreadable unless you know the "cypher" to open it.
So, now the message is delivered from your computer to outside world inside in a "scrambled steel safe". The message remains inside the "scrambled steel safe" until the recipient unlocks it (decrypts it). This offers the most complete protection that is available.
How does the E-Mail get decrypted once the person I sent it to gets it?
When the E-Mail recipient clicks on a FortisMail encrypted e-mail for the first time they will directed to download and install a very small decrypt client. They will register them with TrendMicro™ and will verify their email address and allow them to decrypt the message. After the install of the decrypt client, the recipient will be able to open all your future encrypted messages from you.