Large email service providers like Google and Microsoft occasionally scan your email to deliver targeted ads and other services. You may be concerned about this as it violates your privacy. One of the easiest ways to prevent this invasion of privacy is to set up your own secure email server.
Setting up your private email server is pretty straightforward and once the initial setup is complete you can further customize it to your liking.
What is a private secure email server?
When you receive an email, it is first stored on an email server before it is downloaded to your email client or browser. These email servers are usually managed by the same companies that provide you with email addresses, such as: B. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.
While these services are great for you, they can easily scan confidential and regular emails to serve targeted ads and improve services like the Google Assistant. Additionally, government agencies and law enforcement agencies can ask your email provider to reveal your inbox.
On the other hand, you have complete control over your email when you use a private email server. This is because the server is at your home, on a computer that you own.
The blatant advantage of having your own secure email server is privacy. Your emails are all yours. You can also use one to send completely anonymous email.
Your ISP and employers have no access to your email. This provides a level of security that no third-party email provider can provide. A private email server allows you to set up filters that are simply not possible using a regular email service.
However, all of this comes at a price. You are fully responsible for the security of your email server. While corporate emails can no longer be spied on, the server can still be compromised by a determined hacker.
Email providers have dedicated teams looking for security holes in their servers. However, in the case of a private email server, you are fully responsible for ensuring that the server is secure.
Here's how to set up your own secure email server
Setting up your private email server shouldn't be a problem provided you follow the steps below carefully.
Before you begin, however, make sure you have all of the things you need to set up the server. These include:
A separate computer with decent hard drive space. This acts as an email server and stores all your emails.
A domain name for your private email server.
A good and stable internet connection.
An email server service for forwarding your email. Ideally, it should also have features like spam filters and anti-virus protection.
Download and install an email server
The first thing you need to get started is email server software. Many programs are available. Most are paid, however.
For this tutorial we will use an open source and free email server called hMailServer. To download the application, simply go to the hMailServer download page and click on the file under "Latest Version".
After downloading the app, just follow these steps to install it:
Run the downloaded file.
On the setup welcome screen, click Next.
On the next screen, click the I accept the agreement radio button. First read the license agreement.
On the next screen, choose where you want to install the hMailServer application. It is better to install it in the C: drive yourself.
On the component selection screen, choose Full installation from the drop-down menu and click Next.
In the next window, select the database that you want to use. Ideally, choose the first option, i.e. Use the integrated database engine. Click on Next.
Choose whether or not you want to create a Start menu shortcut, and then click Next.
The following screen will ask you to create a password for your email server. Enter a strong password and click Next.
Now click on To install. Wait for the installation to complete.
After the installation is complete, make sure that the Run the hMailServer administrator Check box is checked and click on End.
How to set up hMailServer
The actual process of setting up your private email server is pretty straightforward as well. The following steps should give you a clear idea of how to set up your email server and some best practices in doing so:
Run the hMailServer administrator. The app should already be running if you followed step 10 in the section above.
In the window that opens, click on associate and when prompted, enter the password you entered during the installation in step 8 above.
On the welcome screen under Started, click on Add a domain.
On the General tab, under Domain, enter a domain name. Make sure the Enabled check box is selected, and then click Save on computer.
Now go to via the navigation bar on the left Domains and then click the domain name you just entered. click on the Accounts Directory.
In the Accounts window, click Add to.
In the next window, enter a name in the Address text box. This serves as your email address.
Enter a suitable password in the Password section. Click on Save on computer.
Now go to via the navigation bar Settings> Protocols.
Check SMTP, then disable that POP3, and IMAP Check box. Remember to click Save on computer.
Then click on Progressive, under the heading "Settings". Enter under "Default Domain" localhost, and then click Save on computer.
click on the + Button to expand the Progressive Settings tree.
Navigate to TCP / IP ports and make sure that ports 25, 110 and 143 are enabled for SMTP, POP3 and IMAP, respectively.
Now test your email server by going to. navigate Utilities> Diagnostics. Select the domain you created earlier and click on begin to begin the test.
This will check that you can successfully connect to the mail server you just created.
After following the steps above, your private email server is ready to use.
All you need to receive and send emails is a client such as Thunderbird or Outlook. Use the domain credentials you created earlier to sign in.
In addition, you can also enable and customize features such as anti-virus and anti-spam protection by running the hMailServer Administrator utility. Look for these features in the navigation bar.
Your private email server is ready
As you can see, setting up your own email server is not that difficult. In fact, it should take you less than an hour to get it up and running unless you run into unexpected problems. However, if you are looking for more advanced features, it would be wise to hire an IT professional to set them up for you.
And if you can't set up your own email server, using alternative, more secure email services is the next best option.
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About the author
(136 articles published)
Manuviraj is a feature writer at MakeUseOf and has been writing about video games and technology for over two years. He is an avid gamer who also spends his free time browsing and reading his favorite music albums.
By Manuviraj Godara
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