Apple boosts iCloud email encryption to keep out snoopers

Photo: Roger Tan, Flickr

Messages sent through iCloud.com are now encrypted all the way to receiving servers Photo: Roger Tan, Flickr

Apple has added extra protection to iCloud’s outgoing email, making it harder for hackers, the NSA, or any other malicious spying groups to get their digits on your messages.

A month after Apple promised to boost iCloud’s email security, a new transparency report from Google shows that at least 95% of incoming iCloud.com and me.com email messages are now encrypted. Before the change, only messages sent from an iCloud or me.com account to another iCloud account were encrypted.

The only problem with Apple’s new encryption format is that it requires other email providers who receive the message to support the same the same Transport Layer Security format. TLS allows sending and receiving servers to verify messages for authenticity. Even the messages themselves can be verified, making it much harder for third-parties to secretly intercept messages.

Any messages sent from iCloud.com to a provider that doesn’t support TLS won’t stay encrypted. Google says 73% of its outbound messages are now encrypted as of July 10th, but only 56% of those received are encrypted.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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