Avoid becoming a victim of phishing attacks by encrypting your contacts

Phishing is on the rise, says ProtonMail CEO Andy Yen. An encrypted contacts manager can help keep your contacts private, and validate the information you receive in your inbox.

Secure email provider ProtonMail launches encrypted contacts manager

Phishing is one of the easiest and most common ways that hackers access accounts and breach major companies. To fight the risk, ProtonMail recently launched a secure, encrypted contacts manager to protect users from fraud, and ensure contact security.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson met with ProtonMail's CEO Andy Yen to discuss why businesses should encrypt their contact list.

Oftentimes, people don't think about the security of their contacts, Yen said. However, a person's contact list is extremely sensitive, because it contains who they communicate with either personally or professionally. "It's actually very important to not just protect the contents of the communication that you send to people, but also the contacts," Yen said.

SEE: Encryption Policy (Tech Pro Research)

There are two components to protecting contacts: Keep contact details private and confidential, and verify the authenticity of information you receive.

"If you look at Yahoo, which had a breach...what we see in the past 10 years is that the servers get compromised sooner or later," Yen said. "It's not really a matter of 'if,' it's a matter of 'when'." So if businesses only store encrypted data, such as email, on their servers, once the server gets compromised, they will have a lot more protection, Yen added.

Looking ahead to 2018, Yen predicts there will be a lot more phishing, and that ransomware will begin to fade as people begin to realize that paying the ransom does not always get your data back, he said.

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Image: iStock/tmcnem