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Almost No One Encrypts Their Emails Because It Is Too Much of a Hassle

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Representation of a suspect email.

We have the technology to encrypt email, but we normally dont bother.

Credit: JLStock/Shutterstock

A study by researchers at Germany's Leibniz University Hannover of 81 million email messages sent from January 1994 to July 2021 found that only 0.06% of the emails were encrypted.

The researchers also found that encryption tools like S/MIME or PGP were used by only 5.46% of the 37,000 university students and staff in the study.

Leibniz's Christian Stransky noted that "S/MIME and PGP are not very usable for normal users," as they require the use of specialist email clients and, in some cases, third-party tools.

Alan Woodward at the U.K.’s University of Surrey said, "With the rise of end-to-end encryption in messaging apps [such as WhatsApp], which just happens as if by magic, users naturally use that route if they want to have a private conversation."

From New Scientist
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