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Thread: Secure email

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    Question Secure email

    I am hoping someone could advise on whether or not it is wise to have an accountant send a pdf with income tax forms attached to an email through regular email. If not, is there a secure way to send them? If they are sent, do they reside in cyberspace forever? Can they ever be deleted from cyberspace? If this is not the correct forum, please advise where I should post. Thank you for any assistance.

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    If I was concerned I would have the document compressed into a .zip format and password it, sender and recipient agree on a password. Without the password for the .zip file it couldn't be decompressed. If using an installed E-Mail Client such as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc., the message may be deleted from the Server once downloaded but it would depend upon Account settings. Or log into your ISP's online/Webmail and assure it's deleted there.

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Or use Hillary Clinton's Email server.

    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Or use Hillary Clinton's Email server...
    Good one Jerry.

    Much better than Bill's email server
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I suggest you go with www.startmail.com. They are very secure and very private. And their email servers are in Europe - the NSA can't get to them.

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    I would have said email encryption is still a pain---see CitizenFour.

    You can easily set up in your browser to make sure the connection between you and your ISP is secure via a TLS encryption. [You will need your ISP and email app's instructions and ISP's TLS server port number and name usually found via Google search.] And hope that your accountant equally uses TLS encryption so he is receiving and sending to his ISP encrypted. Between the two ISPs certainly is TLS encrypted. This prevents anyone ostensibly from intercepting, reassembling packets and reading emails between two parties. Though the emails are transparent to the ISPs and anyone (NSA) plugged into the ISP.

    Berton's suggestion--while not perfect--works pretty good and is easily accomplished by parties. An accountant may already have secure arrangements and instructions. Presumably he would send you the password in a separate email. I would encrypt with AES 256-bit as well. If both of you are using the same app such as 7-zip, you should not have issues [Indeed if both using 7-zip, I would use 7z format instead of zip because it encrypts the password while the zip format inexcusably does not allow that]:
    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/support...ase/11489.aspx

    https://ssd.eff.org/en

    https://freedom.press/encryption-works

    http://checktls.com/
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-03-31 at 12:34.

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    The number of people who send private data in public email never ceases to astound me!
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...g20-organisers

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    The number of people who send private data in public email never ceases to astound me!....
    Even with much of what I listed above it is still very hard to reliably encrypt email. Both parties must be successful in implementing and then both must post their public key. Each party you email would need your key and you theirs. I have not been able to accomplish it without breaking something. And it is a pain.

    People are working hard to make this process cookie cutter. But even they are conceding the public key system may be too much for general use by a turnkey public.

    Once encrypted however email is likely fairly secure from prying eyes (including the NSA). But since even NIST has had to warn the world AES (128-bit but I find it hard to believe the NSA didn't compel the hooks being set into all AES versions) may not be secure due to NSA backdoor mischief my personal feeling is it would be better if the community made alternate encryption like twofish available for encryption.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-03-31 at 14:49. Reason: corrected attribute to NIST

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    AES is secure, it's what else your software is doing that may be an issue.

    cheers, Paul

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    From what I understand, startmail.com not only is very secure, but also they have gone to great lengths to make it very easy. And they store your email in Europe, where privacy laws are stronger.

    For example, if you send an encrypted email to someone who doesn't have startmail, they will answer a security question to decrypt the email. Extremely easy!

    Dr. Katherine Albrecht is one of the directors of startmail. She is a strong privacy advocate.

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Berton, I use 7-zip's ZIP, each with a password, what is 7zip format?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    Berton, I use 7-zip's ZIP, each with a password, what is 7zip format?
    It is .7z but WinZip 19 can open the .7z files, Windows may also.

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    Are you zipping the emails, or just the email attachments?

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    I don't open .zip files by default

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    the NSA can't get to them.



    Fascist Nation
    Could you explain this:
    I would use 7z format instead of zip because it encrypts the password while the zip format inexcusably does not allow that]:
    Just where would an encrypted password be?

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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