Bloomberg Businessweek
Gmail Hacking Private Server Outlook Apple Mail Phishing Image Credit: Bloomberg Businessweek
Gmail Hacking Private Server Outlook Apple Mail Phishing Image Credit: Bloomberg Businessweek

How To Take Back Your Email

Leaving Gmail helped me stop censoring myself in ways I hadn’t noticed for years. Now if only I could trust that people would get my messages

Max Chafkin

Hillary, Ivanka, and Jared were right. No, not about that. Or that. And definitely not that. Just about the one thing, really: the utility of a private email system. Of course, Clintonemail.com proved disastrous to the former secretary of state’s image in 2016. (Ivanka and Jared’s use of ijkfamily.com has been far less headline-grabbing.) But while paying IT consultants to install Clintonesque servers in your basement can be a bad look politically, it has caught on among executives. In some circles, it’s become common to have what’s called “the Hillary setup.”

The security rationale for owning a private server is straightforward. The main way hackers break into email accounts is by phishing, sending links to fake login websites that trick you into giving away your password. Traditional email servers let you log in only through apps such as Outlook and Apple Mail, making them more or less impossible to phish.

Privacy is another draw. The server’s data can’t be tapped by, say, Google to form a sprawling psychological profile aimed at selling you stuff you don’t need. If the police want to read your emails, they have to come to your house with a court order. And if your private server is accidentally destroyed by accidentally falling in a lake before said order can be served, well, that’s accidentally that.

I’m not planning to commit any lakeworthy crimes, but stories about tech companies&rsqu


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