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How do you take your email security? (Hint: we think it’s up to you)
How do you take your email security?
Okay, that’s a weird question, but let’s for a moment compare your data security to the service you might receive in a restaurant. Specifically, let’s look at the waiter tending to your needs:
One waiter might delight you with extensive information about every menu item, telling you how it’s prepared, what wine goes best with each dish, perhaps even a story of the chef’s creative process. In any case, this waiter is so committed to making sure your order is tailored to your taste buds, there’s no way you can just point at a menu item without it igniting a passionate ode to whatever it is you’re pointing at.
Granted, the service may not be quick, but you’ve never been more aware of the food you eat.
Another waiter might value efficiency more: they won't waste any time talking about food. Instead, you simply scan a QR code and your order will appear on a plate in front of you as quickly as humanly possible. You won’t see or hear from this waiter unless it’s absolutely necessary, for instance to doublecheck you don’t have any allergies.
The result: your dinner is a procedure and not so much an experience.
The question you might be asking at this point is what does any of this have to do with email security?
Well, let’s describe both waiters as IT professionals might:
The first waiter is by far the most committed to telling you everything there is to know about the menu. In fact, merely pointing at the menu is enough for them to appear as your personal pop-up blocker.
- The upside, you’re 100% sure your order is a well informed decision.
- The downside, pop-ups can be annoying, no matter how fancy they are.
The second waiter doesn’t waste any time connecting you with your food. Only when it’s unavoidable do they show up at your table for your input.
- The upside, food comes fast.
- The downside, you haven’t learned anything.
The field of email security essentially consists of these two types of waiters: the zealous pop-up blocker and the illusive doublechecker.
Email security with a plug-in
Email security can take the form of a plug-in that prompts users to make sure the email they send has the right security settings. Using a plug-in, sending an email securely means having to take a few extra steps each time you do.
Email security in the background
The other, less intrusive form of email security, uses an SMTP Relay. Instead of asking end users to tailor the security settings of their email beforehand, people simply send their emails as they normally would. The email security in this case takes place in the background and doesn’t require any interaction with the user.
Read further: What is SMTP Relay Service? How does it work?
The question you may be asking is whether one is better than the other: email security through a plug-in or in the background?
Can email security be a menu?
You may find it surprising to know that most (if not all) email security providers choose their “waiter” for you. In other words, there are email security providers that will only offer you an SMTP Relay, and there are providers who’ll only supply you with a plug-in.
To us, this is surprising. After all, why would your email provider dictate your email experience?
You see, there’s no one way of securing your data, except for your way.
- One organization might favor email security in the form of a plug-in. It’s a little time consuming perhaps, but every time someone sends an email, their awareness on the subject of cyber security increases. Given enough time securing emails through a plug-in, people automatically become experts in the field of data security.
- Another organization might instead want their email security to be as much in the background as possible, where it doesn't demand any attention.
And these are just the far ends of this spectrum. The reality is that every organization differs in the way they want their email security to affect their day-to-day activities, the same way everyone enjoys a good meal in their own way.
That’s why SmartLockr’s “menu” caters to your preferences. Some people like getting notified and increase their awareness in the process. Other people just like their security to be in the background where they don’t have to interact with it.
We know email security is only effective when it’s user-friendly. And what user-friendly is, is up to... well, the user.
The choice is yours
If you ever find yourself in a restaurant not liking the service, your first thought would probably to either leave the restaurant or swear never to go back there again.
If you ever find yourself looking out for email security and encounter a provider that doesn’t let you choose between a “pop-upping plug-in” or a “stealthy SMTP Relay”, then the following (free) whitepaper will be very helpful: It will make sure you get the solution you need, not the solution you’re being served.
To download the whitepaper “How to choose the right secure email solution” simply click the link below!