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Old 13 Mar 2018, 09:46 PM   #1
jclarkw2
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Profiles and Aliases re. Privacy

The discussion at "http://www.emaildiscussions.com/showthread.php?t=71495&highlight=alias+profile" was quite helpful, but I don't have my own domain -- just a main and two sub-accounts (eventually) -- and I still have other uncertainties.

1) It appears that you must have a valid e-mail address (perhaps at another provider) in order to use it in a profile as the apparent (or does it somehow become the real?) sender. What, then, do you mean in the documentation by "A profile might be more useful if you also want to keep your identity private?"

2) I think I understand that you would normally use a profile (for sending) together with an alias (for receiving). That way you would specify the alias as the reply-to address in the profile, potentially keeping the whole transaction "anonymous" (in whatever sense is meant above). Right?

3) Related, but indirectly: Did I read something about my sending IP address being hidden in the header of an outgoing email through Runbox? If so, is this something I have to activate, or is it automatic? Also, exactly what IP address is hidden? Not that of your server, I presume, but perhaps that of my computer that is using SMTP to send over your server? Would that work also with Webmail, or is your server the only IP involved in that case? (I have knowledge gaps about the mechanism of email.)

Thanks! -- jclarkw
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Old 14 Mar 2018, 03:55 AM   #2
gecko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarkw2 View Post
1) It appears that you must have a valid e-mail address (perhaps at another provider) in order to use it in a profile as the apparent (or does it somehow become the real?) sender. What, then, do you mean in the documentation by "A profile might be more useful if you also want to keep your identity private?"
I reckon what they mean is that you can use several aliases for all sorts of purposes and that neither your alias nor your name necessarily have to reveal anything about your identity, e.g. "Nickname <nickname@r.example>" could be one of your alias/profile combinations.
You don't have to use other provider's email addresses for profiles (but you can, if you wish). Mails are sent from this address and can be received at this address.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarkw2 View Post
2) I think I understand that you would normally use a profile (for sending) together with an alias (for receiving). That way you would specify the alias as the reply-to address in the profile, potentially keeping the whole transaction "anonymous" (in whatever sense is meant above). Right?
No, see above. An alias can be used to create a profile. All settings (alias, name, default bcc, etc.) constitute a profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarkw2 View Post
3) Related, but indirectly: Did I read something about my sending IP address being hidden in the header of an outgoing email through Runbox? If so, is this something I have to activate, or is it automatic? Also, exactly what IP address is hidden? Not that of your server, I presume, but perhaps that of my computer that is using SMTP to send over your server? Would that work also with Webmail, or is your server the only IP involved in that case? (I have knowledge gaps about the mechanism of email.)
AFAIK you computer's IP does not appear in a sent email's header if and only if it is sent via webmail. If you send your mails via an email client, your computer's IP will be visible.

I hope I did not misstate anything. If so, David (dbowdley) or Kim, please correct me.

Regards,
gecko

Last edited by gecko : 14 Mar 2018 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 14 Mar 2018, 05:09 AM   #3
jclarkw2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko View Post
...No, see above. An alias can be used to create a profile. All settings (alias, name, default bcc, etc.) constitute a profile.
gecko
Gecko -- Thanks for your input. Unfortunately I'm still confused about this privacy point: Suppose my objective is to send email to, and get replies from, an untrusted destination while preserving my privacy to the maximum extent. (Let's also admit that this is being done from Runbox Webmail.) What is the most straightforward way to do this?

The reply part seems clear enough, as I can set up an alias and specify that in the "From" drop-down. It also appears that I can set up a profile for some new folder that specifies the arbitrary address from which a message is to be sent. (I say apparently sent because there seems no way for Runbox to gain access to an unrelated SMTP server.) Perhaps you are trying to tell me that these two steps can be combined into one?

It is clear from the documentation that this "From" address must be verifiable. Since this address apparently also will appear in the "From" field of any message that I send, it inevitably reveals a valid email address that I own.) I guess I would have to set up a real but expendable email account somewhere from which to send such messages with some degree of privacy. Correct?

Am I I still missing something? -- jclarkw
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Old 14 Mar 2018, 05:37 AM   #4
gecko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarkw2 View Post
Gecko -- Thanks for your input. Unfortunately I'm still confused about this privacy point: Suppose my objective is to send email to, and get replies from, an untrusted destination while preserving my privacy to the maximum extent. (Let's also admit that this is being done from Runbox Webmail.) What is the most straightforward way to do this?

The reply part seems clear enough, as I can set up an alias and specify that in the "From" drop-down. It also appears that I can set up a profile for some new folder that specifies the arbitrary address from which a message is to be sent. (I say apparently sent because there seems no way for Runbox to gain access to an unrelated SMTP server.) Perhaps you are trying to tell me that these two steps can be combined into one?

It is clear from the documentation that this "From" address must be verifiable. Since this address apparently also will appear in the "From" field of any message that I send, it inevitably reveals a valid email address that I own.) I guess I would have to set up a real but expendable email account somewhere from which to send such messages with some degree of privacy. Correct?

Am I I still missing something? -- jclarkw
Not sure I fully understand your question. What you can achieve with runbox is creating a arbitrary (call it "disposable") email alias "my-arbitrary-runbox-email-address-128975". Then you can send emails from my-arbitrary-runbox-email-address-128975(a)r.example to any other email address at any other email provider. The recipient of this email can reply to my-arbitrary-runbox-email-address-128975(a)r.example. The only thing that the recipient can learn about you is that you own an email address with runbox. I think this preserves your privacy quite well. And if you don't want to receive any further emails at this alias, you can simply delete it.

Regards,
gecko

Last edited by gecko : 14 Mar 2018 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 14 Mar 2018, 07:28 AM   #5
jclarkw2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko View Post
...What you can achieve with runbox is creating a arbitrary (call it "disposable") email alias "my-arbitrary-runbox-email-address-128975". Then you can send emails from my-arbitrary-runbox-email-address-128975(a)r.example to any other email address at any other email provider. The recipient of this email can reply to my-arbitrary-runbox-email-address-128975(a)r.example...
gecko
OK, what you describe would certainly solve the privacy problem.

Apparently I was misunderstanding the documentation, which seemed to be saying that aliases were used for receiving, whereas profiles (with a different email address entered as the sender) were for sending. (That does work, by the way, but with a lot of trouble and the privacy issue that I described. Now I'm no longer sure of the purpose of profiles...)

[later:] Sure does work, and much simpler! Thanks a Lot! -- jclarkw

Last edited by jclarkw2 : 14 Mar 2018 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 14 Mar 2018, 10:20 PM   #6
dbowdley
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Runbox.com
We have documentation for this here: https://help.runbox.com/aliases-profiles/

The biggest difference is that you can specify a different name with a profile, and also a non-Runbox address. It has to be verifiable otherwise we would be allowing people to send from someone else's address without their permission.

The only common elements in mails sent from our service are the servers (which you would expect) and the fact we include your numerical User ID in outgoing headers. If someone happened to have two emails sent from different aliases/profiles on your account and looked at the headers they might be able to accurately conclude the emails might be from the same sender. The way around this is to purchase a sub-account which would have a different UID.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by dbowdley : 14 Mar 2018 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Additional information.
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Old 14 Mar 2018, 11:26 PM   #7
jclarkw2
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Originally Posted by dbowdley View Post
We have documentation for this here: https://help.runbox.com/aliases-profiles/...

...I hope that helps.
It helps very much, except for the documentation reference, which I had already read and was the source of my confusion. (A couple of specific examples or a tutorial might help newbies like me!)

Just one more question about this: If you want to delete a profile, is it sufficient to delete the folder in which it was created, or is something more required? -- jclarkw2
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Old 15 Mar 2018, 06:52 AM   #8
dbowdley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarkw2 View Post
Just one more question about this: If you want to delete a profile, is it sufficient to delete the folder in which it was created, or is something more required? -- jclarkw2
Yes, just delete the folder and it will no longer appear in the list of "From" addresses you can use in the Compose window.
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Old 15 Mar 2018, 07:15 PM   #9
jclarkw2
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Originally Posted by dbowdley View Post
Yes, just delete the folder and it will no longer appear in the list of "From" addresses you can use in the Compose window.
I won't say this too many times, but it's difficult to imagine better tech. support than you guys offer. I'm sold! -- jclarkw2
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