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I took the help of someone to build my own email domain. He is maintaining the domain and has the admin rights. Will he also get to know the content of all my emails if he wants to? If I want to prevent him from getting access to my emails, what do I need to do?

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closed as not a real question by Canadian Luke, Tog, Brad Patton, KronoS, afrazier May 14 '13 at 4:20

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This depends entirely on the nature of the server hosting the email and what access he has to it. Can you update your question with more details about the environment: edit. – Paul Aug 14 '12 at 2:52
Generally speaking, if someone has the rights to administer an email server, then they have the ability to read the email. – Keltari May 13 '13 at 5:58

Incoming email sent to your domain is typically stored on the server as a plain text file (mbox file) in your mail directory. As server admin he can read all of that with ease, if he wishes, and there's various web based admin tools like webmin which makes the task even easier.

If you are sending email using your server as an SMTP server, then he could also read your outgoing emails too.

Alternatively, if you configure your email client to send via Gmail, but have 'me@mydomain' as the reply to address, then he could not see your outgoing email. But typically anyone replying to your email will then quote your original message, so he'd see what you sent when someone replies.

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If i ask my friend to surrender the admin rights to me, then what exactly shall he provide me with? the admin user name and password to my email domain? – Santanu Saha Aug 14 '12 at 3:30
There's a point where you have to trust the administrator. If you're worried about anyone reading your email, don't send anything you wouldn't want someone to read. All email, unless encrypted, is stored in clear text, everywhere. This is how it was designed. – user3463 Aug 14 '12 at 3:33
yeah thats fine. i just want to know when a domain admin surrenders admin rights, what exactly does he do? does he give the admin user name and password? – Santanu Saha Aug 14 '12 at 3:41
How does he surrender rights if he is the owner of the box? Remember, at some point, the person with physical access to a machine is the owner of the data stored on it. – user3463 Aug 14 '12 at 4:38

To prevent him from getting access to you emails you would have to take control away from your colleague - what I mean is, changing the server's login username and/or password. That is the main thing, but there are other things to consider.

If you have web mail as well then it is possible there are administrative tools available from within that so you would have to change his rights and all the passwords he knows. This way, he only has access to his emails as a normal user (assuming he still needs the email).

You may also need to ensure that no forwarding is in place to take a blind copy of what you're offering (assuming you're using POP style email).

Or, if possible, create even more rights and roles - giving yourself the 'full admin' and giving your colleague the 'nearly full admin' rights.

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