What is SSL / TLS and do I need a secure email connection?

SSL stands for Secured Socket Layer - basically it is a secure way of providing authentication and encryption during communication online between your computer and the Purple Dog mail server.

When you use a standard POP or IMAP connection to download your email (the most popular method still in use), your username and password is sent in cleartext across the Internet. This means that anyone using the same wireless connection as you, or the same network as you, or watching traffic at your ISP - or anyone in a position to see your Internet traffic can potentially "inctercept" your network traffic and clearly read your username and password. With this information, they can easily read all your email and worse, steal confidential information, send out spam or other malicious acts.

Don’t think anyone would do that to you? A hacker may not be interested in you or your business and snoop on you maliciously.  Increasingly they want this information so that they can log into your account to send spam. By using your legitimate username and password, they can send out much more spam before having to move on to another address. Recent research claims that cyber criminals are focusing on acquiring as many compromised email accounts as possible. Mostly so they can send out "phishing" emails - or scam emails asking for money.

Have you ever received an email from someone in your address book that is asking for money or some strange request - e.g. "I'm in peru and got robbed - please send me money! "  - if you have, this is the resuult of someone hacking into their email.

How to be more secure?

An SSL connection encrypts your email traffic so that it cannot be read at any point between your computer and the Purple Dog mail server that you are using.

The downside is that usually, email is not encrypted once it continues its onward journey across the internet, to its destination (unless both parties have set up mutual digital certificates). However, at least your connection to the server is more secure.

SSL / TLS email is a free technology, and available with all mainstream email clients.  However, it does require additional set up time and is not suitable for every installation.

How do I set up SSL / TLS email ? 

If you'd like to investigate this further, please read the article here for more information.  We are also happy to assist - just get in touch.





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