Declan Dunn, TechViews.org …..
The intrusion of Yahoo’s email system dated back to 2013, and now has upwards of 1.5 billion users affected. This has driven many of those users to the encrypted email service, ProtonMail.
The secure email service, which touts itself as NSA-proof, claims that it’s user base has doubled in the wake of the Yahoo revelations.
Throw into the mix controversy surrounding Yahoo’s reported complicity in helping U.S. authorities scan customer emails, and you’d perhaps be correct to question anyone who continues to use Yahoo to send and receive emails.
Two countries in particular have email users moving to ProtonMail in large groups. Germany and the USA lead the influx of new users. Not surprising since those two countries have two of the largest user base for Yahoo email.
“After Yahoo, new user growth doubled, but a huge surge is coming from Germany after the German government took the unprecedented step of advising German citizens to stop using Yahoo Mail,” ProtonMail cofounder Andy Yen said in an email to VentureBeat. “The result is that many users are now turning to ProtonMail as a more secure alternative to Yahoo Mail.”
In the United States, where Yahoo was one of the original large developers of email for consumer use, the migration is just as strong.
“Considering the repeated cases of data theft, users should look more closely at which services they want to use in the future and security should play a part in that decision,” BSI president Arne Schoenbohm said in a statement last week. “But, if nothing else, the surge demonstrates an increased interest in more secure communication services.”
ProtonMail was founded out of CERN in 2013, launched in beta a year later, and went on to raise more than $2.5 million in funding before launching fully to the public earlier this year.
In a nutshell, ProtonMail promises a secure email service that uses client-side encryption, meaning that all data is encrypted before it arrives on the company’s servers. The company also introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) as an added layer of security earlier this month.
Though ProtonMail says that new-user sign-ups have hit an all-time high, how can it be sure that the spike is definitely linked to Yahoo’s woes? “We first noticed the trend on social media, when a large number of tweets began appearing mentioning ProtonMail as a Yahoo Mail replacement,” the company explained in a blog post. “Starting on December 15th, the day the Yahoo breach was announced, ProtonMail’s growth rate effectively doubled.”
In short, it appears as though more people are waking up and taking notice of the online privacy debate.
Disclaimer: TechViews does not specifically endorse ProtonMail, and has no financial interest in the company.
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