Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

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Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

Charles Irons
Hello Ubuntu user technical support.

I posted the question below on AskUbuntu 8 days ago and 39 people have read it but there is no answer offered.
I have done searches. Please advise me where to try next.

"As a retired home user I only need access to email from my desktop PC.

So I have used Evolution as mail client interacting with Gmail's server for many years. 

Receiving email is with Password and sending email is set to Plain; 

    because Evolution in Ubuntu 18.04 does not support the Google security setup OAuth2.

I have read Ubuntu Community Wiki for a couple of hours and checked similar Ask Ubuntu questions.


Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled with terminal commands."


Thanks for helping. Chas
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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

Wade Smart-2
I used Evolution for a short time but had problems and moved to Thunderbird.

However, and this is pretty darn old info - you could try this:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsingGmailWithEvolution
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On Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 8:48 AM Charles IRONS <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello Ubuntu user technical support.
>
> I posted the question below on AskUbuntu 8 days ago and 39 people have read it but there is no answer offered.
> I have done searches. Please advise me where to try next.
>
> "As a retired home user I only need access to email from my desktop PC.
>
> So I have used Evolution as mail client interacting with Gmail's server for many years.
>
> Receiving email is with Password and sending email is set to Plain;
>
>     because Evolution in Ubuntu 18.04 does not support the Google security setup OAuth2.
>
> I have read Ubuntu Community Wiki for a couple of hours and checked similar Ask Ubuntu questions.
>
>
> Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled with terminal commands."
>
>
> Thanks for helping. Chas
>
> --
>
> Our preferred address is
> [hidden email]
> Mobile   +2783 588 0028
> --
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> [hidden email]
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users

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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Charles Irons
On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 at 15:48, Charles IRONS <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled with terminal commands."

Absolutely, yes. Don't worry about it. Email is public while it is in
transit, anyway. You should consider email messages not to be letters,
but postcards. Anyone who wishes can see your messages as they pass
through your internet service provider's servers, and those of the
recipient.

Nobody ever does because there are many billions a day and most are
totally uninteresting to anyone else.

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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

Chris-4
In reply to this post by Charles Irons
On Tue, 2019-11-05 at 16:45 +0200, Charles IRONS wrote:

> Hello Ubuntu user technical support.
>
> I posted the question below on AskUbuntu 8 days ago and 39 people
> have read it but there is no answer offered.
> I have done searches. Please advise me where to try next.
>
> "As a retired home user I only need access to email from my desktop
> PC.
> So I have used Evolution as mail client interacting with Gmail's
> server for many years.
> Receiving email is with Password and sending email is set to Plain;
>     because Evolution in Ubuntu 18.04 does not support the Google
> security setup OAuth2.
> I have read Ubuntu Community Wiki for a couple of hours and checked
> similar Ask Ubuntu questions.
>
> Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled
> with terminal commands."
>
> Thanks for helping. Chas
> --
> Our preferred address is
> [hidden email]
> Mobile   +2783 588 0028
Charles I use Evolution to send with Gmail but I use Fetchmail to poll
their IMSP servers for mail. Here's a small screenshot of my smtp
setup.
Notice OAuth2 is supported.


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Description: Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS, kernel 5.0.0-32-generic

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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

ubuntu-users mailing list
In reply to this post by Liam Proven
On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 16:46:27 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:

>On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 at 15:48, Charles IRONS wrote:
>> Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled
>> with terminal commands."  
>
>Absolutely, yes. Don't worry about it. Email is public while it is in
>transit, anyway. You should consider email messages not to be letters,
>but postcards. Anyone who wishes can see your messages as they pass
>through your internet service provider's servers, and those of the
>recipient.
>
>Nobody ever does because there are many billions a day and most are
>totally uninteresting to anyone else.

Hi,

I second that! It's my firm opinion, too.

If it should be important to ensure that an email's content can't be
edited or to ensure that it can't be a complete fake, use gnupg signing
on demand. To ensure that only the receiver can read it, use gnupg
encryption on demand.

The email editor of Evolution allows to sign or encrypt by the
"Options" menu. How to generate the key, that is required to sign or to
encrypt is easy to explain and most likely easy to understand by you.
IOW it most likely would be no issue to explain you, what you need to
do, but it's probably to complicated to explain each recipient how to
use it. It's usually not an issue with the recipients ages, or
intelligence, most computer users are simply not willing to care about
it.

Regards,
Ralf


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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

Paul Smith-2
On Tue, 2019-11-05 at 19:37 +0100, Ralf Mardorf via ubuntu-users wrote:
> On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 16:46:27 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:
> > On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 at 15:48, Charles IRONS wrote:
> > > Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled
> > > with terminal commands."  
> >
> > Absolutely, yes. Don't worry about it. Email is public while it is
> > in transit, anyway.

That's not true (necessarily).  It depends on whether your connection
goes over SSL/TLS or not.

To Charles: whether your password is "Plain" or something else isn't
important.  What's important is the "Encryption method" setting.

If that is set to "No encryption" then all the traffic between you and
your mail provider is sent in cleartext and is readable by anyone that
can watch the network traffic.

If the Encryption method is "No encryption" and your authentication
method is "Password", then both your password and your email are sent
over the network in cleartext, so contrary to the above recommendation
that you "just don't worry about it" and treat your email as public you
should VERY MUCH worry about it: if someone can grab your password they
can log into your account and/or send email as you and that is a much
more serious problem than someone passively watching your email go by.

If "Encryption method" is set to using STARTTLS or TLS, then your
connection is encrypted, including whatever authentication you use,
such as your password, so you're protected from snooping.

Similarly for the "Sending Email" options: if your "Encryption method"
is is "No Encryption" and your authentication method is PLAIN password,
you should be concerned.  If "Encryption method" is not "No encryption"
you're fine.

For GMail, I don't think they even offer unencrypted connections at all
so most likely you are already fine.

Cheers!


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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

ubuntu-users mailing list
On Tue, 05 Nov 2019 14:17:14 -0500, Paul Smith wrote:

>On Tue, 2019-11-05 at 19:37 +0100, Ralf Mardorf via ubuntu-users wrote:
>> On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 16:46:27 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:  
>> > On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 at 15:48, Charles IRONS wrote:  
>> > > Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled
>> > > with terminal commands."    
>> >
>> > Absolutely, yes. Don't worry about it. Email is public while it is
>> > in transit, anyway.  
>
>That's not true (necessarily).  It depends on whether your connection
>goes over SSL/TLS or not.

Hi,

you are mistaken.

Even end-to-end encryption could suffer from either backdoors or if not
done by some obscure app end-to-end encryption, but done by the users
via gnupg, by not understanding all security measures. There are
security pitfalls such as Evolution's option "Alway encrypt to myself
when sending encrypted messages", but this is still another toppic.
However, TLS is prone to man-in-the-middle attacks (way more risky than
storing unencrypted mails on our own computers) and the mails are at
least temporarily stored unencrypted on the providers web server. Btw.
the full quote:

On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 16:46:27 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:
>You should consider email messages not to be letters, but postcards.
>Anyone who wishes can see your messages as they pass through your
                                         ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>internet service provider's servers, and those of the recipient.
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Regards,
Ralf


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Re: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?

Charles Irons
In reply to this post by Charles Irons
Good day Ubuntu user technical support.

WOW . All your quick responses to my question are superb. I am reassured that my Evolution usage is fine.

My Encryption setting is TLS on a dedicated port and
Sending email it is StartTLS after connecting.

Thanks to Chris, Liam, Ralph, Paul and Wade for very good advice. I will read more about your suggested options. 

As a simple home user I agree my emails are of no interest to any bad guys.

I will go on editing the Authentication settings at daily boot time until Ubuntu upgrades to Evolution  3.30.3+
Milan Crha at Redhat says my settings will stick after that.

My grateful thanks again for great Ubuntu support. Kind regards. Chas
 
My preferred address is
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-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Charles IRONS <[hidden email]>
To: Ubuntu user technical support <[hidden email]>
Subject: Is my pop3 email security enough for a simple home user?
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2019 16:45:39 +0200

Hello Ubuntu user technical support.

I posted the question below on AskUbuntu 8 days ago and 39 people have read it but there is no answer offered.
I have done searches. Please advise me where to try next.

"As a retired home user I only need access to email from my desktop PC.

So I have used Evolution as mail client interacting with Gmail's server for many years. 

Receiving email is with Password and sending email is set to Plain; 

    because Evolution in Ubuntu 18.04 does not support the Google security setup OAuth2.

I have read Ubuntu Community Wiki for a couple of hours and checked similar Ask Ubuntu questions.


Is my email secure enough? As an end user age 80 I am not skilled with terminal commands."


Thanks for helping. Chas
-- 
Our preferred address is
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Mobile   +2783 588 0028

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