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(if this isn't the place to ask this, please point me in the right direction, but I'm sure this is very relevant for most IT people)

I'm worried about the many different ways in which I could lose my email address and/or the emails I have stored, because that would be one easy way to ruin my life. Eg:

  • I have vital information stored as email, then lose it.
  • I have vital contacts, lose my address, and people keep sending me emails but I won't receive them, or even worse, someone else will receive them.

Some scenarios where I have been thinking of where this could happen (all of which already happened to someone, so they are real):

  • The email provider (eg: gmail) decides to ban me as a user, losing both the address and the emails.
  • Some country (eg: USA) decides to seize the domain in my address for X reason.
  • I lose the password and have put garbage in the answers to the 'security questions', so there is no way to recover it.
  • My IMAP client goes crazy and deletes everything, losing the emails.

Some solutions I found:

  • Use your own domain (so you are safe from email providers banning you)
  • Use a password manager (so you don't lose your strong passwords)
  • Use a client that backups your emails (so the content will be safe)

Right now the thing that troubles me the most, is the TLD I should pick. Do you know of any TLD type (and a Registrar that lets me buy it), that...?:

  • is relatively safe from seizure
  • does not cost U$s 200+ (if possible)
  • does not require me to rely on a weird gov organization and registration process, and/or learn some crazy language

If you know of other scenarios or solutions, they are also welcome.

UPDATE

.me seems to a popular choice for pirate sites, so it should be fine

.ws looks cool, and it could be though of as WebSite, which is great. Not sure what the NO in the DNSSEC column means though: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

.tv is operated by a VeriSign company, so no

Note: To the readers: I accepted an answer, but this issue is far from being resolved. It seems to be that there really isn't an easy to get and secure TLD. We must wait until decentralized DNS' become the default. Check this out: http://dot-bit.org/Main_Page

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 15 '12 at 9:30

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Why do you need a TLD? I can't see how that would provide you more security than a standard domain. –  Jonathan May 15 '12 at 3:59
    
@Jonathan It gives security against seizure by certain governments, if done right. Eg: A .ru domain is less likely to get seized by the US than say, a .com/.net/.org (these ones belong to the US, for some reason), or .uk for instance. –  HappyDeveloper May 15 '12 at 6:09
1  
@Jonathan: I think HappyDeveloper meant "best TLD for having the domain under". –  grawity May 15 '12 at 9:52
1  
The email provider (eg: gmail) decides to ban me as a user, losing both the address and the emails. If you use Gmail, you can download your emails using POP3 or IMAP. –  Cristian Ciupitu May 15 '12 at 11:46
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are numerous solutions to securing your webmail information. Here are some:

If you're looking to run your own mail server, you can give Dovecot a try. It's built with security in mind. You can host Dovecot on a VPS if you don't own your own server.

If you want to protect sensitive content from webmail service providers like Gmail, but you still want to use their service, then you can use OpenPGP encryption. However, keep in mind that this won't provide anonymity and once the content is decrypted on your machine, it may or may not be secure depending on your definition of security. If you do this, remember to protect your private key at all cost.

If you want to ensure your emails don't get lost forever on someone else's server, then you can use an email client like Thunderbird to download your emails to your harddisk. In fact, Thunderbird has an OpenPGP plugin. Or you can just run Dovecot+Thunderbird+Enigmail.

A final note though. Although there are an infinite amount of combinations of solutions which may satisfy your current needs, Security is not a product; It's a process.

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Thanks, I didn't know about the plugin for thunderbird. I have my own server, but I would like to use it only if gmail kicks me out. So my main problem here is the domain seizure risk. I have bought a .me, but I would like to reaserch further before making it my default email domain for the rest of my life. Someone recommended me to get a .ru –  HappyDeveloper May 15 '12 at 6:07
    
You can use your own domain with Google using Google Apps for Your Domain. This would allow you to have your own domain, plus you can remove it from Google at any time. You can also use IMAP or POP to keep a local backup of all your emails. I would also probably avoid a .ru domain as they are commonly used for phishing scams and alike, but as you said it is probably more resistant to US seizure. –  Dracs May 27 '12 at 4:15
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