Email was designed and used at a time when the Internet was still a safe and friendly place. This is no longer the case, yet many email servers still allow anyone on the Internet to access their services to send spam email, and many of us still send our account passwords and email messages in clear text (think postcard versus envelope) over the wire.
Many email programs have the ability to sign and encrypt email messages. This allows us to verify the identity of the sender of a received email message, verify that the message has not been tampered with in transit, and, finally, send encrypted email messages. Simply put, it offers the ability to put our email messages in an envelope and seal them. More.
Previously, I wrote an article on how to secure your web surfing using some simple Unix tools. Now, we will extend that article to include securing your instant messenging using the same setup. You can pretty much secure any internet application as long as it allows you to specify a HTTP Proxy as the means to connect to the web. The theory is simple. Make a secure tunnel via your SSH client to a trusted computer running SSH server and Squid proxy server. The parameters you specify in the SSH command will create a local loopback listening service that will automatically forward your requests over to the SSH server and Squid proxy server over a secure tunnel. The information you receive back from the Squid proxy server will travel back over that same secure tunnel over to your local loopback connection and over to your internet application. More.
I have invited a few people for a free 1 GB Gmail account, but they just don’t seem to want it. Therefore, I’ll offer it up to the first person that clicks on this link and registers. As a token of appreciation, please email me something that I may find useful as well or simply donate something to my PayPal account.