Buggy Microsoft Outlook Sending Encrypted S/MIME Emails With Plaintext Copy For Months

Do you use Microsoft Outlook to send supposedly-encrypted S/MIME email messages? If so, for at least last 6 months, your messages have been sent in both encrypted and unencrypted forms, exposing all your secret and sensitive communications to potential eavesdroppers.

If you are using Microsoft Outlook, you need to read an article in The Hacker News at http://bit.ly/2gbfpvW before you send your next message!

Comment: There are several better, more secure email programs than Microsoft Outlook. If you have a need for email security, you should investigate other solutions! You might start by looking at past articles about encrypted email services that have published in this blog. Start at: http://bit.ly/2gafXCb.


Privacy Implications of Email Tracking

“What happens when you open an email and allow it to display embedded images and pixels? You may expect the sender to learn that you’ve read the email, and which device you used to read it. But in a new paper we find that privacy risks of email tracking extend far beyond senders knowing when emails are viewed. Opening an email can trigger requests to tens of third parties, and many of these requests contain your email address. This allows those third parties to track you across the web and connect your online activities to your email address, rather than just to a pseudonymous cookie.”

You can read much more about this privacy invasion in an article by Steven Englehardt in the Freedom-To-Tinker web site at: http://bit.ly/2wvcuF6.

The Only Safe Email is Text-Only Email

Interesting article: “The real issue is that today’s web-based email systems are electronic minefields filled with demands and enticements to click and engage in an increasingly responsive and interactive online experience. It’s not just Gmail, Yahoo mail and similar services: Desktop-computer-based email programs like Outlook display messages in the same unsafe way. Simply put, safe email is plain-text email — showing only the plain words of the message exactly as they arrived, without embedded links or images.”

The full article by Sergey Bratus, Research Associate Professor of Computer Science, Dartmouth College, and Anna Shubina, Post-doctoral Associate in Computer Science, Dartmouth College, may be found at: https://theconversation.com/the-only-safe-email-is-text-only-email-81434

ProtonMail now includes Bitcoin Support

ProtonMail is a popular and highly-respected email provider that offers excellent privacy. I have written before about the advantages of ProtonMail. See http://bit.ly/2wfhD6G for a list of my past articles about ProtonMail.

Now ProtonMail has introduced a new feature that apparently has been requested for some time. In order to improve privacy even more, customers may now pay for ProtonMail accounts by using Bitcoin, the semi-anonymous (see the footnote below) cryptocurrency. Quoting from the ProtonMail Blog at https://protonmail.com/blog/bitcoin-secure-email/:

“Starting from version 3.11 of ProtonMail, it is now possible to pay for premium ProtonMail secure email account using Bitcoin. We have designed the payment system to work seamlessly so that Bitcoin payments are automatically converted to ProtonMail credits which can be used to pay for upgrades, pay invoices, or top up your account. This feature was long overdue, so we are glad to finally introduce this.

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Use Guerrilla Mail to Create a Disposable Temporary E-Mail Address

Avoid spam and stay safe – use a disposable email address! Yes, using a one-time email address can save you from a lifetime of spam mail, questionable “unbelievable offers,” and similar junk mail. Even better, using a temporary e-mail address can hide your activities from government spies or from your ex-wife’s attorney.

They can’t track you if they don’t know it is you.

Actually, anyone can create a temporary e-mail address by simply signing up for an address at Gmail or Yahoo Mail or some other free email service. Use it once or perhaps for a few days, then stop using it. The drawback is that most of these services insist that you provide some real information about yourself, such as your normal email address. Private? Not really. Guerrilla Mail is especially useful because it does not require any registration or personal information.

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ProtonMail Professional – Encrypted Email for Organizations

This blog has always focused on privacy problems and solutions for individuals. However, many organizations also have a need for privacy. ProtonMail, already well known for private email services for individuals, has now introduced a related product for corporations, non-profits, and any other organizations that feel a need for privacy.

You can read the announcement for ProtonMail Professional at: https://protonmail.com/blog/encrypted-email-for-organizations/.

The Fight for Net Neutrality Is a Fight for Freedom of Speech and Democracy

There is an interesting article in the Tutanota Blog:

“The Internet as we know it is a magnificent space where everyone has the right to share their thoughts freely. However, people living in dictatorships experience a much different Internet: Censorship, blocking of major sites or social media platforms are normal to them. If we allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to decide what content they want to show us and what content they want to block, this is exactly how we can expect our future Internet to look like. To protect freedom of speech and democracy, we must fight for net neutrality now.

“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to destroy net neutrality in the United States. They plan to give big cable companies control over what we see and do online. This will allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees.”

The full article is available at: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/net-neutrality.