Email Security & Accessibility

While serving oversees, you will need to consider both the security and accessibility of your newsletters.

There are 2 sides to email security: the data you store, and the content you send.

Stored data includes your list of partners and saved newsletter content.

The security of your data such as 'subscriber' or partner lists, and the email content you save before clicking 'Send' is incredibly important. If using an online service, you will want to choose one with both hardware and software protection which has been put in place to ensure that nobody else has access to your account and the information it contains. These are common features among most email newsletter services.

Remember, logging in to any email service using public Wi-Fi makes it really easy for someone else to eavesdrop, so we would advise you not to read/send through public Wi-Fi connections.

The security of an email newsletter service no longer protects the content of a newsletter once you send it.

Once you hit the send button and your content leaves your computer, your content can only be effectively secured if you are sending from and to a network of email addresses which uses email encryption like PGP or S/MIME. This means every email address that you send to must also have this encryption and be up-to-date. Think of it like placing your email in a safe which you lock with a unique key and your recipients all have keys which are made to open safes locked with your key.

The nature of emailing friends, family, and associates requires you to send to web email clients like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, with which you cannot use email encryption. Sending email to people who do not have an encryption system in place means your email can be read in transit. Think of it like sending a postcard—it's sent directly to someone, but the content can be read on it's way there. Too, your recipients can (and no matter how much you educate them, will) forward, print, or just verbally share the content of an email with others—there will always be risk.

For those with higher security risk, we advise you write your newsletter content carefully—just as you would for any 1-to-1 email. Use common sense; don't include words or images that you wouldn't want to share with anyone.

An online email newsletter service provides the benefit of not revealing your location. Every email you send contains an IP address which pin-points the location of the computer that it is sent from. When you use an email newsletter service, your newsletter is sent direct from their servers, wherever in the world they might be, so your location is not revealed in the email's information.

One type of email (HTML, plain text, plain text with an attached PDF, etc.) is no more secure than another, though, they all have different levels of accessibility for the recipients.

When choosing which type of email to send, think about it from your partners' point of view—the more accessible the better.

Emails with attached photos, Word documents, or PDFs are the least accessible option. Your partners will have any one of multiple obstacles in accessing your newsletter:

  • Increased likelihood of losing it in their spam box
  • Longer waiting time to download large attachments
  • Time and computer space to save & file your attachments
  • The need to download/open a specific viewing program (if available to their operating system)

Plain text emails are oftentimes frustrating because when creating it you might place lists, links, or styled text with the assumption that your partners will view it just as how you've created it, when in fact, the styling you use makes it 'Rich Text,' which appears differently in each email client that your partners use.

For these reasons, we recommend using a newsletter service with HTML and plain text templates which are coded for and tested in all the major email clients to look as consistent as possible and pass through spam filters. With most newsletter services you will also have the option to send true plain text, HTML or both depending on your partners' preferences. This option is the most accessible as it has a work-around for all the various obstacles in sending email newsletters.

Fire Mail works hard to satisfy all your security and accessibility needs. If you have any questions please contact us.