Gmail’s free POP access uses SSL!

YAY! I’m paranoid. But you know what, that’s good when considering computers and today’s world. So when I learned that Road Runner offers no real protection against network-sniffers, I stopped using my @nyc.rr.com email account almost immediately. I moved everything to my own server, which uses SSL over both POP and SMTP traffic to protect my passwords when checking email (and SSH all over the place for everything else).

It is similarly annoying that Hotmail (afaik) has never used it when checking email from a client such as Outlook, Outlook Express, or Entourage. Yahoo! Mail doesn’t even have POP, or POP-like, access to its mail accounts (again, only afaik), but by default their log-in forms are not secure.

So when Gmail announced its free POP service for its users, I was skeptical. “Great,” I thought. “I’ll never use it.” But today I clicked on the “New Features!” link, found the instructions for enabling their POP service and—low and behold—imagine my surprise when I read that they actually require the use of a secure connection!

What an incredibly sensible choice! And yet another reason to switch to Gmail if you can. I don’t see either Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail doing anything on the security front. In my eyes, Google should be advertising this fact more than they have. But I guess it only really matters to geeks like me.

P.S.: If you want a Gmail account and don’t have one yet, then I’m willing to give you one. (I’ve got more invites than I know what to do with.) Leave a comment or email me at meitarm (at-sign) gmail (dot) com, and give me a suggestion for how to improve this site. I’m most interested in design ideas, and if you’re handy with Photoshop, an image of one would be nice too.

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