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Windows 7: Outlook 2013 email security question

05 Jun 2013   #1

Windows XP Professional SP3/Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Outlook 2013 email security question

Checking a web based email (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) with Outlook is as safe as doing it using the web browser (Firefox, etc)? I know that using the browser is safe since the connection is encrypted, but I'm unsure about Outlook. Thanks for your feedback.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jun 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)
 
 

Outlook 2013 supports encryption, but this is a question of an advanced e-mail account setup.

To check encryption settings go to Control panel - Mail - Email Accounts - Click on your E-mail - Change - More Settings - Advanced.
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05 Jun 2013   #3

Windows XP Professional SP3/Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Neutron16 View Post
Outlook 2013 supports encryption, but this is a question of an advanced e-mail account setup.

To check encryption settings go to Control panel - Mail - Email Accounts - Click on your E-mail - Change - More Settings - Advanced.
If I follow your directions I get to the screen below for my Gmail account. It shows that the connection is encrypted with SSL. Is encryption applied to the login process only (username and password validation) or does it also apply to the receiving/sending of email messages between my PC and the Gmail Server? If so, is this considered to be secure? Thanks
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05 Jun 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 8 Pro 32 Bit/64bit
 
 

you do know regardless of what you do in settings in outlook you still need a good antivirus program.
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05 Jun 2013   #5

Windows XP Professional SP3/Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by robinb9 View Post
you do know regardless of what you do in settings in outlook you still need a good antivirus program.
Yes, but that's applicable to computing in general. My post was referring to the possibility of intercepting an email message and/or login credentials when Outlook 2013 communicates from the PC to the Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail server. If that connection is encrypted then one would consider it secure, but I don't know if SSL applies only to the account log in or also to the message send/receive process.
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05 Jun 2013   #6

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)
 
 

I am pretty sure that would be both, password and incoming/outgoing mail.

Is SSL secure? Well, Gmail uses SSL certificate for web access too. In Firefox open and log into Gmail. Right click in any free space inside gmail tab - View Page Info - Security - View Certificate.
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05 Jun 2013   #7

Windows XP Professional SP3/Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Most email messages you send travel vast distances over many networks, secure and insecure, monitored and unmonitored, passing through and making copies of themselves on servers all over the Internet. In short, pretty much anyone with access to any of those servers - or sniffing packets anywhere along the way - can read your email messages sent in plain text. I read that hackers can unlock SSL and decrypt those messages, rendering your email messages insecure.
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05 Jun 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

SSL is the standard for secure communication over the internet, but no system is 100% secure. It may be possible to crack SSL encryption, government agencies almost certainly can and do' others probably can too.

OK, that's the bad news, the better news is that this is extremely rare, there are billions of SSL messages sent every day, both email and secure website accesses - remember SSL is the security method used for every online payment and bank account transaction on the web.

As cracking of SSL, is not a simple method it is not commonplace, indeed it is exclusively targeted so you have to ask yourself, "how valuable is my email and to whom?" The answer will probably be "not enough to go to the expense of cracking SSL encryption for"

In summary, Outlook, with SSL is as secure as a web browser access for mail. Indeed in some ways Outlook is more secure, with outlook you compose and read mail without a live internet link, and only open the SSL link when actual transfer is in progress.

Unless your mail is of a nature to make you a target for someone, government or criminal, then you are safe with outlook or web access. There are other encryption algorithms that can be added but nothing is totally safe
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06 Jun 2013   #9

Windows XP Professional SP3/Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks Barman, I guess the safest means is to encrypt the actual message (say with truecrypt) and then email the encrypted message via SSL or other encryption protocol. But doing that would turn impractical for everyday use.
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06 Jun 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

You may be able to find a plugin encryption module for outlook, which would cut down the additional work involved' though even then you would need to distribute private keys to your contacts.

I think there was some type of outlook integration developed for PGP some time ago, it may be worth checking
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 Outlook 2013 email security question




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