Alternative, privacy focused email providers similar to Gmail and 'promotional' mail

PixelFree

Kingfisher
I have been using Gmail for years. Wanting to move away from Google, I've been using Fastmail as a more privacy focused email provider.

Unfortunately, my inbox quickly becomes a mess with all kinds of newsletters ('promotions') and junk that I like to still scan from time to time, but only scan subjects and read a small % of. Using Fastmail, these pollute my main inbox and notifications.

I can setup rules and such to move them into a 'Promotions' folder, similar to Gmail, however this is laborious to do it for each sender/list individually. Gmail's automatic sorting into Social, Promotions, etc is excellent.

How do people deal with this issue?

I thought of creating a separate email address for this purpose but the lines between the two can be blurry. Sometimes I want to 'promote' promotional emails into my primary inbox and then back out again.
 

MRAll134

Robin
No, you can use Protonmail. It uses encrypted message, so it is way more secure than Gmail. Protonmail also does not store all your data, like Gmail does. I like it; give it a shot.
 

PixelFree

Kingfisher
Or just unsubscribe from all the newsletters? They're just trying to sell you something.
Agreed, although 1 in 10 newsletters there is some useful content, a free (useful) webinar or a discount code on a product I'm already interested in but haven't purchased.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Moderator
What you could also do (with any mail provider) is:

1. Create a new email address with a tag, like [email protected]
2. Set a rule to filter all email "To:[email protected]" and put them in a folder
3. Then, only register for newsletters with that email, and it'll automatically go in that folder

The "+" can be added to most email addresses and it'll be treated the same as if there's nothing after the "+":

 
Agreed, although 1 in 10 newsletters there is some useful content, a free (useful) webinar or a discount code on a product I'm already interested in but haven't purchased.
Not an email solution but I use my email for emails and a feed reader for keeping up with websites, podcast app for podcasts, etc.
 

acco

Woodpecker
I thought of creating a separate email address for this purpose but the lines between the two can be blurry. Sometimes I want to 'promote' promotional emails into my primary inbox and then back out again.
You can try https://www.gmx.com/mail instead of using Gmail.
They offer 10 aliases, mobile support, 65 GB email storage, a mail collector all free of charge.

For more private email I consider to use countermail.com , it was mentioned somewhere in this forum.
 

Matianus

Sparrow
Unless the person you are sending an email to also uses a secure email provider, the email is not secure. Gmail/Microsoft/etc will keep a record of an email sent from a secure email provide such as Protonmail. It is best not to use email at all for anything remotely private or personal. A messaging app like Signal makes more sense.
 
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Max Roscoe

Woodpecker
Signal requires a phone number in order to activate an account. I have personal experience that it is not secure. Anything that wants your real phone number is highly suspicious. Even the unsecured chat apps like AOL messenger never asked for something like that. Yes, your email will not be secure unless the other party is using secure messaging. If you are not paying for a service, they are spying on you to some extent in order to cover their overhead. Unless it's just an open source program that is using an internet protocol and the storage is all done on your end. I use gmail and just don't talk about private things on it. Proton mail is Swiss and likely better.
 

Matianus

Sparrow
Yes you are correct that the requirement of a phone number is a glaring weakness of Signal. It is possible to use a burner phone number however.

I would be cautious of believing that because Protonmail is Swiss that is completely safe. There are reports online that there are backdoors for security agencies and that while Swiss privacy laws are stronger than the USA and UK they still are invasive.


 

Max Roscoe

Woodpecker
It is possible, and that is in fact what I did. I used a burner phone with a foreign SIM card. I didn't even install Signal on that device: merely used it for the activation code. I used it to connect to a single American friend on Signal. I also used that burner phone to create a Facebook messenger account under a pseudonym, because there is no way I'm giving them my real info. Do you know who kept popping up into my "friend suggestions" ? All the Facebook buddies of my Signal friend. I couldn't believe it.

This wasn't even on the same device. The only common link between them was that I used the same foreign SIM # to activate both services. I was not even Facebook friends with this person at all. And yet I was getting all of his friends as suggestions because the algorithm knew we were connected, as it spied on the phone registration step. This is why metadata can be more important than the actual texts or images that we are sending. Don't ever give your phone # to a free service. Ever.

Really the only thing I would trust for mail security is PGP. And if you are really paranoid, run it on a live boot linux machine.
 

PixelFree

Kingfisher
Unless the person you are sending an email to also uses a secure email provider, the email is not secure. Gmail/Microsoft/etc will keep a record of an email sent from a secure email provide such as Protonmail. It is best not to use email at all for anything remotely private or personal. A messaging app like Signal makes more sense.
Yes I understand, however sniffing an email in transport is one thing and having full search access to your emails at rest on the mail server is another.
 

acco

Woodpecker
Unless the person you are sending an email to also uses a secure email provider, the email is not secure. Gmail/Microsoft/etc will keep a record of an email sent ...
... in general, IMO.
However, since the vast majority use "normal" email providers, you can save yourself the effort and costs of a secure email address.
It is better to use PGP encryption instead.
 

gework

Ostrich
Gold Member
Yes I understand, however sniffing an email in transport is one thing and having full search access to your emails at rest on the mail server is another.
One of the main reasons I don't use something like Protonmail is you can't search emails.

ProtonMail has a service that will port your Protonmail messages into Outlook or Thunderbird. But you have to pay $5 per month for it. Then with all the other features I needed I would have been paying $35 per month or something like that. All to a company who has my private keys that they use to hand data to Die Feds,


I used another called Tutanota, which has a good amount of features for 1 euro per month. But no email search was a killer. When they supported the Extinction Rebellion protests I pulled the plug.

Instead I now host my own emails, which I don't use for anything untoward. These privacy centric email providers all say hosting your messages with them is more secure than on your device. I disagree. I like them stored on my computer and instantly scrubbed from the server.

I think email is to be avoided. The centralised private email providers have been a disapointment. I prefer messaging. Telegram refused to bow to requests forvRussian state access to messages and set up rotating servers to bypass Russia's ban. Besides that there is a crypto related app call Status and another called Tox, which seem to offer higher security and no neef for a phone number.
 

Guy80

Pigeon
It is possible, and that is in fact what I did. I used a burner phone with a foreign SIM card. I didn't even install Signal on that device: merely used it for the activation code. I used it to connect to a single American friend on Signal. I also used that burner phone to create a Facebook messenger account under a pseudonym, because there is no way I'm giving them my real info. Do you know who kept popping up into my "friend suggestions" ? All the Facebook buddies of my Signal friend. I couldn't believe it.

This wasn't even on the same device. The only common link between them was that I used the same foreign SIM # to activate both services. I was not even Facebook friends with this person at all. And yet I was getting all of his friends as suggestions because the algorithm knew we were connected, as it spied on the phone registration step. This is why metadata can be more important than the actual texts or images that we are sending. Don't ever give your phone # to a free service. Ever.

Really the only thing I would trust for mail security is PGP. And if you are really paranoid, run it on a live boot linux machine.
most apps are access all your data, not just what they say they are; illegal but unchallenged by people with enough resources to drag them through a lawsuit. Just the way of smart phone life, marketing data..
 

Pandemix

Newbie
This is where paying for web hosting comes in handy!

Most web hosts have cPanel which has email routing features that essentially allow you to use your web host as your email server. Once you connect a domain to your host you can even use it for your address extension, so it could be [email protected]. The downside is the email interface tends to be horribly outdated so I've connected my email through the Mail app on my computer.

Not sure how it stands up privacy wise but that's one less Google service for me.
 
Here is a reality: no one is going to just give you an easy to use email account you can access from any computer for free. Whether you pay for it out of your wallet, or you pay for it so someone can data mine you with an eye towards modifying your behavior (which is precisely what Google is all about), you will pay for it.

I use ProtonMail. You can try a limited version for free, but you might, like me, like it enough to commit to it. So for the past few years I have paid for ProtonMail. For 48 Euros a year I have a lot of storage space, multiple addresses, etc., and no one and no company reads my emails. I used to connect to it via Outlook, but eventually did not see the point. I think the user interface is ergonomic and easy to use.

I would recommend it without reservation.
 
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