|Secure Hotmail Alternatives: HushMail|
|HushMail can serve as a secure alternative to Hotmail as a free Web-based email provider.|
Hotmail and Security
Microsoft's free Web-based email service Hotmail does not have exactly what can be called a perfect security history. There are hackers accessing your account or stealing your password, there are others sending mail from your account with your name on it...
The most recent and most severe case of "hacked" Hotmail made me look for alternatives; alternatives that let you sleep better with your email not only in good but hopefully in no hands at all.
HushMail is a free Web-based email service just like many, many others on the Net; just like Hotmail in fact. Probably it is as easy to hack HushMail, too, and break into other people's email accounts.
But why-oh-why is it propagated as a "secure" alternative to Hotmail here?
There is something about HushMail: it uses encryption. HushMail will automatically encipher messages with strong 1,024-bit public key encryption. Such messages cannot be read by anyone else. They cannot even be ready by HushMail themselves. This makes those concerned with law enforcement a bit nervous. But it brings (back) a bit of privacy to email.
Since there is hardly a chance to decrypt HushMail messages breaking into HushMail accounts doesn't make much sense. This makes HushMail a secure service.
There is a downside, of course: HushMail can encrypt messages only within the service. It is (of course, as HushMail does not use an encryption standard but their own system) not possible to send encrypted mail to anybody not using HushMail nor is it possible to receive encrypted mail from anybody not using HushMail.
HushMail is secure only as long as you send mail only to other HushMail users.
HushMail uses Java both for encryption and the user interface. You first encounter a Java Applet when HushMail asks you to move your mouse around the screen. The data here collected is used to create a random key which is used for the encryption.
There are not too many options and actions known to HushMail, but these, due to Java, work quick and smoothly. They are also the (probably only?) necessary function: receive and send mail, collecting it in folders, and a simple address book.