Monthly Archives: December 2013

Security Changes for 2014

2013 has been one of the most “interesting” and volatile for computing security for many years. The technical revelations regarding protocol issues with secure handshakes and the designed-in weaknesses in Elliptic Curve Random Number Generator, and Edward Snowden’s exposure of the NSA and other nations’ intelligence services behaviour in massive data gathering of anything they could tap into will have technical, social and political repercussions for many years to come.

The most immediate effect is the realisation that we should all be encrypting whatever we can.

At Tidymail we have always encouraged the use of secured connections. When we started the service more than 10 years ago we offered and encouraged the use of secured connections. Our web interface has only ever been offered via a secure connection and whilst for traditional email clients there were valid reasons at the time to allow insecure connections we no longer feel it is appropriate to allow these anymore.  A year ago we added the facility to specify that an email client should only be allowed to connect securely. Now we feel it is appropriate to improve matters further.

From 1st April 2014 we will no longer permit insecure access for sending or receiving mail.  All email clients will need to be configured to connect either via an SSL connection, or via a STARTTLS negotiated connection.

Details of the hostnames/ports that should be connected to are available on the Tidymail Services and Port Numbers page. But the summary is that any existing insecure configuration should be adjusted to require SSL or TLS.

Most of our client configuration guides contain details on how to configure securely and we can advise for other client software not listed; just email us at

This is not the only measure we are taking to improve the security of your email but it is the most visible to you.  We continue to work on improving the parts of the system that are not immediately visible and we expect to improve the security of various aspects, both visible and not, over the next year and onwards.