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Email Security

Few of the webmail providers available offer SSL access to your email. Some of them give you a secure login to protect your password but the messages you send and receive are not secure. Some even insert the IP address of the computer you are using into all of the messages you send. Two providers which are worth considering are Gmail and Riseup.

  • GMAIL: can be used entirely through a secure connection, as long as you login to your account from (with the HTTPS), rather than To ensure ultimate security, you also need to set a preference that tells Gmail always to use SSL in sending and receiving mail. However, we don't recommend relying entirely on Google for the confidentiality of your sensitive email communication. Google scans and records the content of its users' messages for a wide variety of purposes and has, in the past, conceded to the demands of governments that restrict digital freedom. 
  • RISEUP: If you don't have an email account yet, or wouldn't mind switching, the best we can recommend is Riseup RiseUp offers free email to activists around the world and takes great care to protect the information stored on their servers. They have long been a trusted resource for those in need of secure email solutions. Unlike Google, they have very strict policies regarding their users' privacy, and no commercial interests that might conflict with those policies. In order to create a new RiseUp account, however, you will need two 'invite codes' which can be given out by anyone who already has a RiseUp account.

Regardless of what secure email tools you decide to use, keep in mind that every message has a sender and one or more recipients. Even if you are accessing your email account securely, your recipients may not be using a secure email account when reading and replying to your messages. To ensure private communication, you and your contacts should all use secure email services. If you want to be certain that messages are not intercepted between your email server and a contact's email server, you might all choose to use accounts from the same provider. In this case, RiseUp is a good one to choose.  

If you suspect that someone is monitoring your email, you should read 'Tips on responding to suspected email surveillance' at