Russia Blocks Encrypted Email Provider ProtonMail

If ProtonMail’s encryption is so good that the Russians are afraid of it, then it must be very good encryption! This latest announcement from the state Federal Security Service, formerly the KGB, may turn out to be the best advertising that ProtonMail could ever obtain!

Instead of being “Banned in Boston,” ProtonMail is now proudly “Banned in Moscow.”

Well, the ban is perfect just yet. Some Russians are still able to use ProtonMail. Details may be found in an article in the ProtonMail web site at: https://protonmail.com/blog/russia-block.

You can find my past articles about ProtonMail by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+protonmail&t=h_&ia=web.

Why Zoho Mail is Better than Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Outlook

Zoho Mail is one of the less well-known email services. Yet it is one of the best free email providers. Many Zoho Mail users feel that it is better than Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. Zoho Mail has grown to more than 10 million active users in just nine years since it was first created.

Zoho Mail is available as a free email service although a paid version is available that offers more functionality. Many people find the free version meets all their needs and never upgrade to the paid version. Even the free version offers multi-level folders, conversation views, drag-and-drop inbox organizing, and email filters.

Best of all, Zoho Mail never, I repeat: NEVER, shows ads, not even in the free version.

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Why You Might Want to Run Your Own Email, Address Book, and Calendar Server at Home

In case you never thought about it, companies that offer “free” email services are not charities. Everything they do is designed with one primary objective in mind: make a profit for the company that offers the service.

Yes, this applies to Google Gmail, Yahoo, AOL Mail, Mail.com (owned by the 1&1 web hosting service), Yandex.Mail (a Russian company), iCloud.com (owned by Apple), and Outlook.com (previously called HotMail and some other names, all owned by Microsoft).

Many of these services also offer additional so-called “free” services, such as storing your address book or your personal appointment calendar.

Why would a for-profit company offer free email services? For one simple reason: to make a profit.

At first glance, that appears to be contradictory statements. However, the companies offering these free services all know how to convert the expense of adding servers, routers, and more hardware, software, and support personnel into profits for the company. In short, they spy on you and all the email messages you send as well as messages received from friends, relatives, companies, and more. Yes, they read your email messages and look at your address book and appointment calendars. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? It should.

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The Next Version of the Thunderbird Email Program Will Feature Encrypted Messages and Chats

The Mozilla Foundation has announced that a new version of the popular Thunderbird software for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux is in the works. Thunderbird is available free of charge and presently has about 25 million users.

Several new features are planned. Privacy advocates will notice that the next release will include encrypted messages as well as encrypted chat capabilities. The plan is to make encryption in Thunderbird “just work” without expecting users to know how to user or handle certificates, as well as removing technical jargon. They’re also aiming to implement Off-the-record (OTR) messaging for encrypted chat.

You can read more about the planned encryption features and a lot of other planned changes at: http://lists.thunderbird.net/pipermail/maildev_lists.thunderbird.net/2018-October/001317.html.

ProtonMail’s FREE Secure Email Service

Normal email messages are sent in plain text. That means that such messages are easily intercepted and read by hackers, government spies, corporations, and others. Of course, it is easy to block such espionage by using encryption. However, very few email users ever do that.

The lack of email encryption is sad as it is so easy to implement. My belief is that everyone should use encrypted email all the time for all messages. Admittedly, I do not do that myself, at least not yet. But if more people had the capability to send and receive encrypted email, I would use encryption all the time.

If you are willing to use a new email address or perhaps an additional email address that you use only when you want to send and receive private messages, you can find several services to choose from. One of the more popular encrypted email services is ProtonMail, a secure email provider based in Switzerland.

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Encrypted Email Provider ProtonMail’s Service is now backed by a 99.95% Service Level Agreement (SLA)

I have written before about the privacy email features of ProtonMail. (See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+proton+mail&t=h_&ia=web for a list of my past articles.) Now the company that produces ProtonMail has announced it will provide 99.95% uptime or better. 99.95% uptime means the service will be unavailable less than an average of 8 minutes per day.

The new service level agreement (SLA) ensures that if downtime in any calendar month exceeds 0.05%, the company will issue a partial refund to all customers.

The latest ProtonMail announcement may be found at: https://protonmail.com/blog/protonmail-reliability-sla/.

Helm Wants You to Control Your Own Data Again

A new start-up company wants you to host your own (encrypted) email messages, pictures, videos, and more where everything is under your control, not something provided by a privacy-stealing corporation.

Do you use the Gmail or Yahoo or Hotmail email services? If so, a large corporation can access your private messages for any reason at all. Or for no reason at all. The same is true for your photos, videos, contacts list, and calendar.

Your most critical data (like emails, search history, passwords, photos, and videos) is stored on massive corporate servers outside your home. Increasingly, this leaves you vulnerable to hacks, companies profiting from your data and online behavior, and mass government surveillance.

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