The IT- and Mediacenter recommends using the free certificates of the Univerisity of Rostock to all students and employees. Such certificates strongly increase the security of email communication as they allow the signing and encryption of emails. Once installed, handling your email clients is as usual.
Signing emails serves two important purposes. On the one hand, a signature proves the identity of the email's sender. In this way, phishing attacs or fake invoices can be identified easily, as a spoofed originator can be distinguished from a signing originator. On the other hand, a signature proves the email content to be uncorrupted. Thus, a malicious modification of information (e.g., banking information) can be detected.
From a technical perspective, an email is just a kind of file transported from the senders computer to an email inbox located at a server. Email encryption is an effective instrument to protect the privacy of send information along the transportation and during storage. Thus, stolen passords or hacked servers do not necessarily mean a leakage of confidential data (e.g., individual-related data or research data) and the data remains private.
I get it - And how to proceed ?
As signing and encryption of emails requires a personal certificate, at next you need to apply for your own one. All information on this step are provided in the IT security section. The information on how to configure and use your email client for signing and encryption can be found here.
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