Why you need a
private email service

by Richie Koch | November 26 2023 | 4-minute read

The majority of people don’t think they need to protect their emails because they believe they have nothing to hide. Why would hackers care about one individual with an average life? I’m glad you asked.

Back in 2016, Yahoo confirmed a data breach that affected over 3 billion email accounts. It means the data of 3 billion users was out there for everyone to grab. And, unfortunately, once your data is out there, you no longer have control over it.

In the Yahoo breach, attackers gained access to users’ first and last names, telephone numbers, passwords, birth dates, and answers to their security questions. And because three years had elapsed between when the breach occurred (2013) and when it was discovered, attackers had three years to stroll through their emails. This means they could read about any medical details they shared about their family, trips they took abroad, purchases they made, and any intimate details ever sent via their Yahoo account, not to mention compromise other accounts which share information such as security questions. This led to numerous cases of identity theft and identity fraud.

But isn’t my email provider supposed to protect my data, you ask? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Do all email providers protect your privacy equally?

No, most email services weren’t designed to protect your privacy. As a result, they can access your messages whenever they want. They control who can access your information, not you.

Take Gmail as an example. It can scan all your receipts received by email and it can build a detailed list of all your purchases. Then, It’s easy to sell this data to third-party advertisers. As a result, these advertisers bombard you with intrusive ads.

Moreover, Big Tech collects vast amounts of data about our online behavior, preferences, and interests, which they use to target you with personalized content. This can create a bubble where we are only exposed to information that confirms our existing beliefs and biases, leading to a narrow perspective on the world.

You can see below how private each of the main email providers are.

A table comparing Proton Mail and other email services
Inbox features
Keeps your purchases private
Keeps your location private
Keeps your contact info private
Keeps your contacts private
Keeps your search history private
Independently audited and open-source

What is private email?

Private email services use end-to-end encryption and other advanced security measures to ensure that only you and your recipients can see your messages. Send a secure email to a friend, and no one but them can read it. Proton Mail uses end-to-end encryption to ensure the only people who can see your message are you and the person you send it to.

A privacy-focused email service is essential for 3 reasons.

  • It makes sure you control your personal data
  • It protects you against data breaches
  • It enables you to be what you want and say what you want online.

Watch this video of Bart Butler, the CTO of Proton, to learn more.

Proton Mail has everything you need from a private email

If you want a genuinely private email service so you can take back control of your personal data, here are the main features to look out for:

Strong encryption everywhere

Proton Mail uses end-to-end and zero-access encryption, so only you and those you authorize have the key to access your emails.

No ads or tracking

Proton Mail collects no data and is only supported by subscribers who pay for access to premium features.

Open source and transparent

Proton Mail apps are both open source and independently audited. You can inspect the code yourself or read an expert’s assessment.

Secure company location

Proton Mail is based in Switzerland, home to some of the world’s strictest privacy laws.

Protect your privacy with Proton Mail

Choose a plan that works for you

Proton Free

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3.99 €


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Proton Unlimited


9.99 €


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As recommended by

Twitter user

I'm a big fan of @ProtonMail! They kept the light on for small tech, independent mail service providers while nobody else seemed to give a damn.

Twitter user

I moved to @ProtonMail 2 years ago and never looked back. The feeling of freedom you get when you know you are not being tracked is uplifting.

Twitter user

You get what you pay for. In the case of big tech, if you pay nothing, you get used. I quit using Gmail and switched to @ProtonMail

Twitter user

My Choice for a Gmail alternative? @ProtonMail - Been using a paid account for over 2 years and it's great. Good customer service also!

Choose an email trusted by millions of users worldwide

Proton has several plans you can choose from. Paid plans support Proton’s mission to build a better internet where privacy is the default.

Millions of people worldwide trust Proton Mail to keep their communications private