SFLetter A Free Email Service with Encryption
StarForce Protected Mail or SFLetter is a website promising an encrypted mail service to users. While it is new, it’s also free, and offers a lot to users in the form of personalization, security, and user friendliness.
Signing up takes less than a minute, however, you do need an email address to verify your account. If you’re like most people currently on the web, that shouldn’t be a problem. Once verified, you can use the password they send to your other account to log in, change your current password, and get started sending and receiving email.
SFLetter has a lot of features including editing your name and display name for the email, a variety of display and view options, encryption options for either the whole email or just attachments, and different types of mailboxes. While the inbox itself is on the plain side, it’s also simple, easy to figure out, and significantly easier to navigate then some more popular email service providers.
How It Works
When you send an outgoing email, you get the option to encrypt either an attachment, or the email body, or both at once. You can also skip encryption and send the email as-is. Not all files are compatible with encryption, but docx, and most photo formats are. When you send the email, the user gets a notification that you have sent an encrypted file and are then asked to download a program to install it with.
The program, Foxxit, opens the files and reads them once you download them. Of course, you do have to separately install the program which, depending on your Internet connection, will take 3-5 minutes. You’ll also have to ensure that you don’t have any programs with screenshot access (such as snipping tool) open, and that you have administrator access. Once there, you can browse for the downloaded email files (try to remember their names) and open the file to view. Emails show up quite quickly but do take a little bit longer between send time and arrival, probably due to the encryption process.
Review of SFLetter
SFletter offers a great free encryption program that only has a few issues. The first is that it offers a download link and an explanation in the first email to the receiver, which is easier for users, but also easier for anyone who reads the first email. However, the file is only downloadable on the receivers computer, meaning that subsequent people to open the email won’t be able to download the file. Importantly, this issue is skipped in subsequent emails, which means that you may want to send a test email without any confidential files or messages for the first round of messaging, and then have the receiver delete it after downloading. From there on, they only receive the encrypted files with your message, or with a blank email, which is perfect for your needs.
The other catch is that I did not see anything resembling a spam filter in the email at all, and no mention of it on the website. SFletter is still in beta, but it would be nice to see them add a spam filter for future users.
The result is that SFletter works exactly as advertised. It prevents file sharing or screenshotting, prevents third party access, and protects your specific emails and attachments, all for free. Would you use this sort of encryption every day? Probably not unless you’re used to sending confidential business files. The good news is that it’s free, which means that it’s well within the range of every day users who have a confidential or personal file or two to send. If that sounds like you, then it’s definitely recommended as a great secure email option.
Importantly, they also have a business version, which does use encryption keys, and offers much stronger security, and offers a free trial for business users.