Google launched its Gmail service, overseen by Sheryl K. Sandberg, Google VP of Operations.
When you use Gmail, Google’s email service, the company scans the content of your emails and the email addresses of your correspondents. Google’s Gmail system also scans your incoming emails, even the ones coming from Yahoo and Hotmail. If you feel safe because you’ve deleted emails you regretted sending, think again. Google never erases its own copies, even copies of the drafts you decided not to send – even copies of incomplete messages you didn’t save as drafts. And then there are those Google servers, which route the emails of thousands of companies that apparently don’t mind running the risk that their emails will be scanned. So whether you use Gmail itself, write to someone who uses Gmail, or, in many cases, simply email, Google’s gotcha.
The Most Secure Gmail Alternatives (Thank you Tanya Techie)
- Zohomail – I found the user interface to be clunky, but it is very easy to set up, and is a viable alternative to gmail. They make it very easy to set up an account, and you can even set up your account by logging into your gmail account. Ironic, I know. It has withstood years of testing and still gets good reviews. It is worth checking out to see if you like it. It is not as privacy-focused as the others; however, I do think it’s secure, and certainly a more secure option than gmail. Visit them: zoho.com/mail
- Tutanota – Tutanota is another privacy browser. The user interface is very basic, and the features are limited. For example, there is not even any IMAP or POP3 support. I would like to see them update their UI and also add in a dark theme and expand their feature set. However, I do like that they are privacy focused. They support end-to-end email encryption, and also have a free mobile app for Android and iOS. They started to gain recognition when Protonmail was still limiting accounts and people were looking for a good privacy browser. You can think of Tutanota as kind of a barebones privacy email. Worth checking out.
- Protonmail – started out of Switzerland as a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo (it’s like Kickstarter), with the idea that they could make a truly private email client that was also flexible and easy to use. The Protonmail campaign raised half a million dollars, making it one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns ever. Some of their great features include a double password system for security – a login password and mailbox password, end-to-end email encryption, and a free mobile app. Some downsides are that the free version of Protonmail has limited storage (500MB) and limited number of emails you can send per day (150). However, even as a second provider, Protonmail is worth using for more important emails.
- Yandex – Since it comes from the Google competitor in Russia, the Yandex search engine, which is the biggest search engine in Russia, then you can be sure that this email provider isn’t going anywhere. It also means that funding and support for Yandex will be able to hold up as more and more Americans and Europeans begin trying out Yandex.
- Self Hosted Email Services: The only problem with a self-hosted solution is that not only is it notoriously difficult to manage for non-tech people, but also the interfaces of Roundcube and Squirrelmail lag far behind modern webmail clients. At least Roundcube has a decent web interface design. Squirrelmail’s interface looks like it is from 1990. This is a limitation with cPanel, and the absolute only reason I personally don’t use cPanel as a webmail solution. Read more…
I’ll add these to consider:
- Startmail – StartMail offers a secure alternative for a yearly subscription of $59.95. It was created by the same people behind the secure search engines StartPage and Ixquick. StartMail encrypts your email from end to end. Only you and the person you write to can read your email. StartMail cannot read them, nor can your ISP. Deleted messages are truly gone forever. Because StartMail is based in Europe, it is not subject to the Patriot Act or other U.S. data collection mandates. It is not even capable of complying with a court order to turn over your emails because the only copies that pass through their system are fully encrypted.