Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

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CULater
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Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by CULater » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:29 am

I'm considering moving my email to a secure email system instead of using gmail. Dirk Cotton mentions Proton Mail, but there are others others out there.

http://www.theretirementcafe.com

I've been a gmail user for a long time, but thinking it might be a good idea to do more to secure my online exposure. Wondering which secure email providers others have considered and/or are using, and the rationale. Also, if anyone has migrated from gmail what snags and hassles have to be negotiated in order to make that change in addition to the fact that I'll have to notify all my contacts? Two-factor authentication is especially involved. Also, I use a Google Voice phone number and don't know if I can continue using that if I abandon gmail.
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:47 am

Apple.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:53 am

Gmail is arguably more secure than any other email service. You get the benefit of the one of the best cyber security teams in the industry for free.

You can lock down a Google account by switching to Yubikey-based two factor authentication. If you think you’re a target you can enable their advanced account protection but I wouldn’t unless you’re the type state actors would go after.

Freefun
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Freefun » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:56 am

Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Rob5TCP » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:57 am

Google is very good on security; horrible (among the worst) on privacy.
I swtiched to Proton mail (from recomendations on this site) for my main
email (I have 6 email accounts).

They have both free and commercial accounts.

https://protonmail.com/

Sourc3
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Sourc3 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:03 am

I think you may be referring to privacy rather than security. For all practical measures you probably cannot find a company that has more security professionals working under their roof than google. Going to a smaller company that has the intentions of being secure is no guarantee that it will be more secure than google.

On the other hand, if you want to get an email account from a company that wants to respect your privacy you should look at companies that actually charge you for your email service, also I would consider looking at where the company is headquartered or does business in.

I would look at Apple and Proton Mail as suggested if you are concerned with privacy.

HoberMallow
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HoberMallow » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:04 am

I switched to Fastmail a couple of years ago. I pay around $60 per year for it. They have a service to transfer your existing Gmail inbox to them. You can also set up forwarding so messages to your Gmail address are forwarded to Fastmail.

I also bought a domain to use as my email address. That’s another $10 or so per year, but means I can keep the same email address with any provider.

Gmail is good for security (keeping hackers out of your email) but terrible for privacy (keeping marketers out of your email). You have to decide if the latter is acceptable to you. It’s a huge negative for me.

As far as other Google services, there’s no reason you have to stop using them. I still use Google Drive regularly for example.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:06 am

If privacy is the concern you’re better of paying Google for G Suite as those customers get a stricter privacy policy. It’s cheap and you get the keep the security benefits of Gmail.

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RootSki
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by RootSki » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:07 am

I’m curious, do you send out a lot of sensitive or personal information via email?

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JoMoney
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:09 am

I would vote Protonmail for anyone who doesn't want to setup their own mail server and encryption (and is concerned about security)

If what Protonmail says is true, everything stored in your mailbox is encrypted/decrypted using your password and code loaded into your browser, so they have no access to the un-encrypted contents, and neither would anyone else if there hardware was stolen or handed over by government demand.
They claim they can't even recover a password, if the password is "reset" because you forgot it, the contents of your mailbox will be lost.
If you send an email un-encrypted outside of their system (to a non Protonmail user) you lose some security (as you would with any email that's sent unencrypted).

Protonmail also doesn't directly ask for a bunch of personal details to sign up for an account.
Last edited by JoMoney on Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jebmke
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by jebmke » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:12 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:53 am
Gmail is arguably more secure than any other email service. You get the benefit of the one of the best cyber security teams in the industry for free.

You can lock down a Google account by switching to Yubikey-based two factor authentication. If you think you’re a target you can enable their advanced account protection but I wouldn’t unless you’re the type state actors would go after.
I have no issues with Gmail from a security point. As you say, they provide good factor authentication. I do isolate Google from all my other computing as much as possible. I keep separate non-Google email for any commercial activity like Amazon or any other online shopping.

Sometimes people throw out the term "security" when they are really more concerned about privacy.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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JoMoney
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:15 am

jebmke wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:12 am
... Sometimes people throw out the term "security" when they are really more concerned about privacy.
I would think saying "security" includes confidentiality/privacy.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

3feetpete
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by 3feetpete » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am

I’ve been using fastmail the last couple of years. To my knowledge it’s never been hacked and I’ve never received an email from a party or business not known to me

Costs $5 per month per family member.

protagonist
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by protagonist » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am

CULater wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:29 am
I'm considering moving my email to a secure email system instead of using gmail. Dirk Cotton mentions Proton Mail, but there are others others out there.

http://www.theretirementcafe.com

I've been a gmail user for a long time, but thinking it might be a good idea to do more to secure my online exposure. Wondering which secure email providers others have considered and/or are using, and the rationale. Also, if anyone has migrated from gmail what snags and hassles have to be negotiated in order to make that change in addition to the fact that I'll have to notify all my contacts? Two-factor authentication is especially involved. Also, I use a Google Voice phone number and don't know if I can continue using that if I abandon gmail.
To quote Thomas Pynchon in Gravity's Rainbow ("Proverbs for Paranoids"), "You hide. They seek." Welcome to the Brave New World. Privacy really only existed in the twentieth century- it was a novel concept that seems to have failed. Escape is futile. Take minimal simple precautions (eg use fake demographic data whenever possible), and accept the risks. The only real escape is to go off-grid entirely , and in many ways that may just make you more conspicuous. Mostly, don't worry. Be happy.

InternationalMan
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by InternationalMan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:41 am

Two well known free encrypted email providers are ProtonMail.com (Switzerland) and Tutanota.com (Germany). Both are pretty mature and have both web browser and mobile device apps. Think Edward Snowden levels of security.

Both encrypted email services are:

no knowledge
end-to-end encrypted
two factor authentication (2FA)
open source

No Knowledge - The email service provider does not have access to your encryption key. They cannot read your email. But that also means that they cannot reset your password or account if you lose or forget your password. It's so secure that if you screw up and lose your password, you've lost everything.

End-to-End Encrypted - The email body is encrypted so it cannot be read by anyone without the encryption key. So nobody in the middle between sender and receiver should be able to read the email. Not a "man in the middle" attacker. Not even the email service company itself can read the email. However, this means that either both the sender and recipient have to both be using the same secure email provider. Or the sender has to create a secret message password, and securely share it with the recipient. If an attacker finds out the secret message password, they can decrypt and read the message. So there needs to be an independent secure way for sender to communicate with recipient.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA) - A second independent factor in addition to a password is used to authenticate a user login. Could be a PIN or password or security token. The better systems use an app or token generator to create a PIN/password that changes with time. Protects against an attacker that has access to the 1st factor, usually a fixed password.

Open Source - The email provider makes the source code open for public scrutiny to show no backdoors or security problems exist.

Using secure email involves more work. There's a learning curve for both sender and recipient. Either both sender and recipient have to have their own ProtonMail accounts. Or there has to be a second secure way to communicate a message password with the recipient. Human error is still a weakness. If either sender or recipient is careless with a password, the security is compromised.

Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook etc. are collectively horrible for email security. Their security is only designed to thwart account level access. All these companies have full access to the plain text of the email and parse them for personal information that they can use to build user profiles. These profiles can be used for whatever they want, including sale to advertisers or whomever pays for it. If there is a data breach or bad employee, anybody could have access to the email contents. Also, how easy would it be for an attacker who has your name, address and can spoof your phone# to just reset your login security? But compared to no knowledge, end-to-end email, it's very convenient and easy to use.

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dm200
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:47 am

There are multiple aspects to security and privacy with email.

I don't know if this applies to you, but I know several folks who are victims of someone setting up an email account (does not matter what type of email) very similar to that person's real email account and attempting to scam the recipients.

So, for example, say the Pastor of a church is Reverend Pat Robinson - and this pastor's official and correct email is: PastorPat@xyz.com. Someone, then, sets up their own email, say, PastorPat@aol.com - and then sends emails to folks in that church. The scammer might, for example, ask for money to be sent, allegedly, to the 'scammer' as an act of charity. Especially if the scammer is familiar with Pastor Pat, these fake emails can really seem genuine.

I have seen exactly this done to one person multiple times - each time with a different scam email.

Since such "identity theft" occurrences do not involve the security or privacy matters of Pastor Pat's email provider, changing the provider would not help.

In these cases of a somewhat public person, such as a Pastor, what might help is that, say, all emails of the church staff have a common format (for the email address) and that the format is unique enough to increase its recognition.

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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by jebmke » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:56 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:47 am
Since such "identity theft" occurrences do not involve the security or privacy matters of Pastor Pat's email provider, changing the provider would not help.
In some cases, there is no substitute for good computing hygiene. Unfortunately many people opt for convenience or simply don't know or have the technical capability to shield themselves.

I am working with the widow of a friend to complete a lot of paperwork related to transfer of assets etc. At one point she showed me an email and said "I don't know what this is. I clicked on the link in the email but nothing happened."
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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dm200
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:07 am

jebmke wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:56 am
dm200 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:47 am
Since such "identity theft" occurrences do not involve the security or privacy matters of Pastor Pat's email provider, changing the provider would not help.
In some cases, there is no substitute for good computing hygiene. Unfortunately many people opt for convenience or simply don't know or have the technical capability to shield themselves.

I am working with the widow of a friend to complete a lot of paperwork related to transfer of assets etc. At one point she showed me an email and said "I don't know what this is. I clicked on the link in the email but nothing happened."
My wife and I have never been victims of any kind of email related "identity theft". We have, though, received emails that were not actually from the alleged sender. Sometimes the alleged sender had his/her actual email address taken over and, more often, it was from a slightly different email address claiming to be someone else.

KoolAid
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by KoolAid » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:20 am

If it's free, you should have zero expectation of privacy.

jebmke
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by jebmke » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:24 am

KoolAid wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:20 am
If it's free, you should have zero expectation of privacy.
so, what is your name? This board is free so might as well cough up your name.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

mptfan
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by mptfan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:27 am

protagonist wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am
Privacy really only existed in the twentieth century- it was a novel concept that seems to have failed.
No, I think it existed in the nineteenth century as well.
:D

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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by mptfan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:30 am

InternationalMan wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:41 am
Also, how easy would it be for an attacker who has your name, address and can spoof your phone# to just reset your login security?
It would be impossible if you used 2 factor authentication and your second factor was something other than your phone number. You can set up Gmail to use a physical security key as your second factor and disable all other second factor options and it would then be impossible for anyone to spoof or access your account without physically having your physical security key.

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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by rich126 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:34 am

3feetpete wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am
I’ve been using fastmail the last couple of years. To my knowledge it’s never been hacked and I’ve never received an email from a party or business not known to me

Costs $5 per month per family member.
Getting emails from unknown businesses isn't always a sign that your email provider has been hacked, it is more often a sign that some business, friend, etc. has had their system compromised. Now they (fastmail) may have good filters to prevent spamming which is good.

I do use fastmail for some of my email. I also have multiple gmail accounts, old hotmail and yahoo accounts. Sometimes it isn't hard to trace where the problems lie. You contact some business and the next thing you know you are getting a bunch of garbage emails either because that business has been compromised or they sold/gave your email address to others.

Pennhen1991
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Pennhen1991 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:38 am

CULater wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:29 am
I'm considering moving my email to a secure email system instead of using gmail. Dirk Cotton mentions Proton Mail, but there are others others out there.

http://www.theretirementcafe.com

I've been a gmail user for a long time, but thinking it might be a good idea to do more to secure my online exposure. Wondering which secure email providers others have considered and/or are using, and the rationale. Also, if anyone has migrated from gmail what snags and hassles have to be negotiated in order to make that change in addition to the fact that I'll have to notify all my contacts? Two-factor authentication is especially involved. Also, I use a Google Voice phone number and don't know if I can continue using that if I abandon gmail.
Protonmail

protagonist
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by protagonist » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:48 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:27 am
protagonist wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am
Privacy really only existed in the twentieth century- it was a novel concept that seems to have failed.
No, I think it existed in the nineteenth century as well.
:D
Systematic treatises of privacy in the United States did not appear until the 1890s, with the development of privacy law in America.
In addition, extended families often lived in one home and shared beds were common- few could afford their own room not to mention their own home. Public humiliation was a common punishment . In colonial New England during the 17th and 18th centuries, courts required people convicted of sexual immorality to wear the letter "A" or letters "AD" for adultery and the letter "I" for incest on their clothing.
Last edited by protagonist on Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by lostdog » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:54 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:53 am
Gmail is arguably more secure than any other email service. You get the benefit of the one of the best cyber security teams in the industry for free.

You can lock down a Google account by switching to Yubikey-based two factor authentication. If you think you’re a target you can enable their advanced account protection but I wouldn’t unless you’re the type state actors would go after.


https://landing.google.com/advancedprotection/
Last edited by lostdog on Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dm200
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:08 am

protagonist wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:48 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:27 am
protagonist wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am
Privacy really only existed in the twentieth century- it was a novel concept that seems to have failed.
No, I think it existed in the nineteenth century as well.
:D
Systematic treatises of privacy in the United States did not appear until the 1890s, with the development of privacy law in America.
In addition, extended families often lived in one home and shared beds were common- few could afford their own room not to mention their own home. Public humiliation was a common punishment . In colonial New England during the 17th and 18th centuries, courts required people convicted of sexual immorality to wear the letter "A" or letters "AD" for adultery and the letter "I" for incest on their clothing.
Yes - I actually recall some remnants of the common practice of "shared beds" - from children to adults.

pork
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by pork » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:51 am

ProtonMail definitely. I used the free service for about a year, and then switched to the basic paid service to get another email address for my wife (both feed into same account which is cool) and I also get two VPN devices.

GT99
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by GT99 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:09 am

What exact problem are you trying to solve? And if it's privacy related, can you be specific?

Personally, I don't care if Google uses information they glean from my emails to serve more appropriate advertising to me. That's the primary way they are using my data. They're not selling anything personally identifiable. They're not endangering me. I think people have this conceptual idea of privacy violation without really thinking through what the impacts and problems really are.

Caduceus
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Caduceus » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:58 pm

I try not to put in writing anything I don't want the world to see. This goes for work-related emails, as well. If there's something sensitive I want to discuss, or if I'm upset about something and it's a "conflict-resolution" type scenario - those types of things are done in person or over the phone, not through email. It's become second-nature for me to parse everything I write through email - and I find myself holding back on being sarcastic/nasty/aggressive in writing even when something/someone is screwing up.

I often just write - "This is easier to discuss over the phone - please call and we'll go over this."

Political discussions with friends I don't care about - so I don't parse those quite as much.

InternationalMan
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by InternationalMan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:42 pm

Another option is to use less secure email like Gmail for non-confidential information. For the few times that secure communication is required, for example, banking information or tax return PDF, use 3rd party file encryption like Veracrypt. Sharing the password would have to use a different secure channel. Maybe something like Signal messenger app.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:48 pm

When your private and/or secure Email reaches the intended recipient, what happens then? How do you control what they do with it or who they forward it to?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

BoomerSooner24
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by BoomerSooner24 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:09 pm

Check out www.virtru.com

Downloads flawlessly to chrome, encrypts gmail, easy to use and free. Have been very pleased. You can restrict recipient’s ability to forward/download and can set time/date to self-destruct. Very Mission Impossible-esq. :D

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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:04 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:48 pm
When your private and/or secure Email reaches the intended recipient, what happens then? How do you control what they do with it or who they forward it to?
Ding ding ding!

This is why encrypted email is not worth the trouble for the vast majority of people.

Additionally, business Gmail accounts are encrypted at rest. This isn't meant to protect the contents of your emails when you send them but does guard against unauthorized access through any backdoors.

Google has literally hundreds of security engineers working on their cloud products. You're not going to get safer than that.

teamDE
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by teamDE » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:45 pm

^again, i believe the issue is more of privacy than security. Gmail is very secure, but it is certainly not private. They scrape it for all its worth in order to sell your profile to advertisers.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:58 pm

teamDE wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:45 pm
^again, i believe the issue is more of privacy than security. Gmail is very secure, but it is certainly not private. They scrape it for all its worth in order to sell your profile to advertisers.
This isn't true.

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6603?hl=en
We will not scan or read your Gmail messages to show you ads.
In any case, Google isn't in the business of selling your profile to advertisers. Advertisers give Google model profiles they want to target and Google makes those matches internally. Your profile doesn't leave the company.

cbeck
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by cbeck » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:16 pm

For those who might be interested in Protonmail.com, you might like to know that in the past they have offered a two-years-for-the-price-of-one deal on one day only, Black Friday. If you try the free version until then and like it, then you could wait to upgrade until then.

Tutanota.com is cheaper and they have been around for a few years, but they don't have the visibility that protonmail has, so they may not survive.

If you do bite the bullet and switch, it is worth considering buying your own email domain name, such as joesmith@joesmith.biz which protonmail and most of the other email service providers will service via their paid accounts. The benefit is that in the future if you want to move service provider again at any time, you won't have to notify all your correspondents. A low-cost source of domain names is namecheap.com.

Protonmail works best if both users are protonmail subscribers. However, even if you aren't I can send you an encrypted email from my protonmail account as long as I can communicate a password to you through a safe channel. You then get a url that brings you to protonmail where you can login just to read that mail using the secret password.

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JoMoney
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:33 pm

cbeck wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:16 pm
...
Protonmail works best if both users are protonmail subscribers. However, even if you aren't I can send you an encrypted email from my protonmail account as long as I can communicate a password to you through a safe channel. You then get a url that brings you to protonmail where you can login just to read that mail using the secret password.
ProtonMail also works fine for sending/receiving regular un-encrypted emails too. I've heard comments from some people that get lost in the security features and somehow get the idea that it was ONLY for encrypted emails.
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ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:27 pm

GT99 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:09 am
What exact problem are you trying to solve? And if it's privacy related, can you be specific?
This is the right question people here should be asking.

Based on the link OP provided my guess is they are asking about security (not privacy), specifically from phishing attacks and the like. If that’s the case the current recommended best practice for most people is roughly:

- Create a new Gmail account (with an email address not obviously associated with you).
- Enroll this account in the Google Advanced Protection Program. https://landing.google.com/advancedprotection/
- Using this account register a new Google Voice phone number.
- Use this new email address as the primary email/login for your financial and cellphone online accounts. Use your google voice number as the mobile phone contact for these accounts.
- NEVER send email or make phone calls from these accounts. They should be inbound only.
- if you chose to use the Google Voice mobile app do NOT set it up to forward text messages to your main cell number.
- Use a password manager such as 1Password. Change all your online accounts to be random passwords that are extremely long (the longest allowed up to a reasonable length).
- set up two factor authentication on all sites that allow it. Despite the temptation do NOT use your password manager as a 2FA/OTP app also. Use a dedicated third party app such as Authy.
- for bonus points, your primary email account that you actually use to communicate with others should also be a gmail account that’s enrolled in the Advanced Protection Program.

Setting this up takes a little doing but it’s pretty low maintenance afterwards.

Did I miss anything?

sksbog
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by sksbog » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:30 pm

CULater wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:29 am
I'm considering moving my email to a secure email system instead of using gmail. Dirk Cotton mentions Proton Mail, but there are others others out there.

http://www.theretirementcafe.com

I've been a gmail user for a long time, but thinking it might be a good idea to do more to secure my online exposure. Wondering which secure email providers others have considered and/or are using, and the rationale. Also, if anyone has migrated from gmail what snags and hassles have to be negotiated in order to make that change in addition to the fact that I'll have to notify all my contacts? Two-factor authentication is especially involved. Also, I use a Google Voice phone number and don't know if I can continue using that if I abandon gmail.

I use GDPR compliant email service based on Europe.
They are far ahead of US, when it comes to consumer privacy rights.
It’s ProtonMail.com

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fortfun
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by fortfun » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:40 pm

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:27 pm
GT99 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:09 am
What exact problem are you trying to solve? And if it's privacy related, can you be specific?
This is the right question people here should be asking.

Based on the link OP provided my guess is they are asking about security (not privacy), specifically from phishing attacks and the like. If that’s the case the current recommended best practice for most people is roughly:

- Create a new Gmail account (with an email address not obviously associated with you).
- Enroll this account in the Google Advanced Protection Program. https://landing.google.com/advancedprotection/
- Using this account register a new Google Voice phone number.
- Use this new email address as the primary email/login for your financial and cellphone online accounts. Use your google voice number as the mobile phone contact for these accounts.
- NEVER send email or make phone calls from these accounts. They should be inbound only.
- if you chose to use the Google Voice mobile app do NOT set it up to forward text messages to your main cell number.
- Use a password manager such as 1Password. Change all your online accounts to be random passwords that are extremely long (the longest allowed up to a reasonable length).
- set up two factor authentication on all sites that allow it. Despite the temptation do NOT use your password manager as a 2FA/OTP app also. Use a dedicated third party app such as Authy.
- for bonus points, your primary email account that you actually use to communicate with others should also be a gmail account that’s enrolled in the Advanced Protection Program.

Setting this up takes a little doing but it’s pretty low maintenance afterwards.

Did I miss anything?
Good list. Maybe be aware of phishing and spear phishing, especially with secondary email accounts.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:52 pm

It's a good list.

* Password manager
* Enable 2FA on all sites that allow it
* Full-disk encryption
* Browser extensions like uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger

Wirecutter offers a good guide. https://thewirecutter.com/blog/internet ... ty-layers/

As does the EFF: https://ssd.eff.org/

Northern Flicker
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Northern Flicker » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:56 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:53 am
Gmail is arguably more secure than any other email service. You get the benefit of the one of the best cyber security teams in the industry for free.

You can lock down a Google account by switching to Yubikey-based two factor authentication. If you think you’re a target you can enable their advanced account protection but I wouldn’t unless you’re the type state actors would go after.
And if google is one of the actors you don’t wish to let access your mail and archive it forever, then what?

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:00 pm

BoomerSooner24 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:09 pm
Check out www.virtru.com

Downloads flawlessly to chrome, encrypts gmail, easy to use and free. Have been very pleased. You can restrict recipient’s ability to forward/download and can set time/date to self-destruct. Very Mission Impossible-esq. :D
Looks like it’s only sold to “industry”, not retail customers like an individual.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:01 pm

Northern Flicker wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:56 pm
HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:53 am
Gmail is arguably more secure than any other email service. You get the benefit of the one of the best cyber security teams in the industry for free.

You can lock down a Google account by switching to Yubikey-based two factor authentication. If you think you’re a target you can enable their advanced account protection but I wouldn’t unless you’re the type state actors would go after.
And if google is one of the actors you don’t wish to let access your mail and archive it forever, then what?
Considering how often you will be emailing someone else's Gmail account, I think it's a pointless thing to worry about.

For the average person, I believe the upside of Google's security outweighs the downside of their privacy practices (most of which are overblown when it comes to Gmail anyways).

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:03 pm

Northern Flicker wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:56 pm
And if google is one of the actors you don’t wish to let access your mail and archive it forever, then what?
Then you use another email provider. Fastmail is a good choice. (No affiliation other than being a very satisfied customer)

BoomerSooner24
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by BoomerSooner24 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:09 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:00 pm
BoomerSooner24 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:09 pm
Check out www.virtru.com

Downloads flawlessly to chrome, encrypts gmail, easy to use and free. Have been very pleased. You can restrict recipient’s ability to forward/download and can set time/date to self-destruct. Very Mission Impossible-esq. :D
Looks like it’s only sold to “industry”, not retail customers like an individual.
I downloaded as an ordinary consumer to my personal gmail account without issue. No industry use here. Works fantastic and super easy. Highly recommend. Give it a shot.

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ThereAreNoGurus
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by ThereAreNoGurus » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:25 am

protagonist wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:48 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:27 am
protagonist wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:34 am
Privacy really only existed in the twentieth century- it was a novel concept that seems to have failed.
No, I think it existed in the nineteenth century as well.
:D
Systematic treatises of privacy in the United States did not appear until the 1890s, with the development of privacy law in America.
In addition, extended families often lived in one home and shared beds were common- few could afford their own room not to mention their own home. Public humiliation was a common punishment . In colonial New England during the 17th and 18th centuries, courts required people convicted of sexual immorality to wear the letter "A" or letters "AD" for adultery and the letter "I" for incest on their clothing.
"No, I think it existed in the nineteenth century as well."

The concept of privacy existed well before that as well. Not as fully "developed" as now, but it existed. The home has long enjoyed significant protection as a private place. William Pitt in the 18th century remarked, "The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail—its roof may shake—the wind may blow through it—the storm may enter—the rain may enter—but the King of England cannot enter!"

The maxim that the home is one's castle appeared as early as 1499 in England.

By the end of the 17th century in England, and the 18th century in the US, a legal definition of privacy had begun to take hold in both criminal and civil laws.

Two early US examples:

1) The 4th Amendment

2) Personal communications were protected by the Postal Service Act of 1792, which enshrined communication privacy into law because it allowed letters to be sealed in opaque envelopes that could not legally be opened without a court order.
Last edited by ThereAreNoGurus on Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JD Leonard
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by JD Leonard » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:39 am

OP, what specifically are your concerns with Gmail? What's the worst case scenario you're looking to avoid? Perhaps there is a solution that doesn't require the hassle of switching from the most popular email service.

Also consider the likelihood of Gmail continuing to exist X years in the future versus whatever other service you might consider.

Google Voice requires that you have a Google account, but does not require that you use Gmail for your email (though any emails generated by Google Voice well go to your Gmail).
- JD Leonard

Northern Flicker
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Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

Post by Northern Flicker » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:27 pm

Considering how often you will be emailing someone else's Gmail account, I think it's a pointless thing to worry about.
That is certainly a problem, but if everyone takes that view, then it becomes self-fulfilling, which is where we are now.

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