E-post administrert av protonmail.com

Jeg har alltid vært en tilhenger av kryptering og sikker kommunikasjon på internett. I den forbindelse har jeg satt e-posten på domenet mitt her under administrasjon av protonmail.com.

Protonmail.com er en e-posttilbyder som er lokalisert i Sveits, og som har som mål å tilby sikker e-postkommunikasjon og valgfri anonymitet i tjenesten. Din konto, inkludert hele mailboksen, er kryptert med din egen private krypteringsnøkkel som aldri ligger på serveren. Du får også et eget nøkkelpar for hver enkelt e-postadresse du oppretter der. Der har du også mulighet til å gi bort den offentlige nøkkelen til andre for den adressen du ønsker, slik at de kan kryptere e-post og sende til deg, så kan du dekryptere den med din tilhørende private nøkkel (som skjer automatisk).

Siden jeg har brukt protonmail en stund fra før, og liker systemet godt, tenkte jeg at jeg like greit kunne sette bort administrering av e-postadressene mine på domenet her, dit. Det gjøre ved å få DNS-oppføringer for e-post til å peke mot protonmail i stedet for den lokale mailserveren på domenet. Så om du sender e-post til meg her på lars@larshoydal.no, så havner den i protonmail-boksen min.

Normal e-post som går fra protonmail til en hvilken som helst annen adresse blir sendt ukryptert, men med sikker tilkobling mellom tjener og avsender, og forhåpentligvis mellom tjener og mottaker. Dersom adressen det sendes til også ligger på protonmail sin server, sendes e-posten alltid helt ende-til-ende kryptert fra avsenderadrese til mottakeradresse.

Du kan velge å sende kryptert e-post til en mottaker utenfor protonmail også. Da får mottakeren en ukryptert personlig tekst i e-posten som du bestemmer, sammen med en sikker lenke til protonmail sin server hvor de må skrive inn et på forhånd avtalt passord for å kunne dekryptere og lese det krypterte innholdet i e-posten trygt på serveren. Vedkommende kan da også sende svar direkte der.

Det er en praktisk tjeneste å bruke. De har egne apper til iOS og Android, og utover det er nettleserversjonen intuitiv og flott å bruke.

Det er gratis å opprette seg en protonmailadresse på www.protonmail.com om man ønsker en sikker og god e-posttjeneste, og om det skal sendes konfidensiell informasjon mellom deg og en annen person, kan vedkommende også opprette seg en protonmail-adresse.

Anbefaler å se videoen av TED talk hvor Andy Yen, en av grunleggerne av Protonmail, forklarer hvordan Protonmail fungerer, litt av historien, og hvorfor det er viktig:

Protonmail har forskjellige planer du kan velge å bruke, med forskjellige prisnivåer. Tjenesten er drevet ideologisk, så du har alltid et godt gratisalternativ, men du får noen flere fordeler og mer lagring, blant annet, om du oppgraderer. Siden jeg bruker det mye til daglig, har jeg en litt oppgradert plan. Jeg bruker også ProtonVPN i tillegg, som er VPN-tjenesten de tilbyr, som hever prisen litt. Under ser du en liten oversikt over de forskjellige nivåene du kan velge mellom. Som du kan se, er det ikke så store prisene som gjelder. Mer informasjon om det finner du nettsiden deres: https://protonmail.com/pricing

Learning web coding in a good way

I have said that I want to learn more coding and get better at web development. Earlier (like 2004!) I did some PHP coding, including MySQL, HTML and CSS. Nothing serious, though, just learning it since I thought it was fun and challenging.

As the years went, I did tinker with it still, and learned some javascript and did use jQuery, as well, but just for personal stuff like making systems for organizing my books in a fancy way or making my own shopping list.

Now I’ve been idle on that front for perhaps 4-5++ years, and A LOT has happened in that time. In came things like nodeJS, typescript, angularJS, npm, etc, and I don’t know too much about it. (Yet.) I know how it works, but I’m quite outdated in form of coding it and organizing the code well.

So — this I want to do something about!

I have, not too long ago, purchased some courses over at Udemy.com about nodeJS + angular, VueJS, and general web design techniques and tips, and they all look promising with good instructors, good content and all that, so I look forward to working through them and complete them.

FreeCodeCamp

In addition to Udemy, I stumbled across a website, on recommendation from a friend, called FreeCodeCamp.com. I want to write a few words about this website here.

This site offer learning through simulation kind of an actual working environment a developer might have. After learning you the basics of the different programming languages, of course, that comes in chunks for all to master.

It is designed to let the user benefit from the community, both in the form of teaming up for doing certain projects, mostly fictional, but still work-like, and for getting help in specific problems a user might run into.

You’ll get certifications after completing a certain amount of tasks and challenges, and it exists multiple certifications for e.g front end dev, back end dev, etc. And when all those certifications are done and bagged, you get to work on real life projects for nonprofit organizations for experience.

They even offer help and resources for job search within development when you’re done.

And it is all free, since they are a nonprofit, open source organization. You can donate from $3++ a month to them if you wish.

I have a principle of donating to open source- and free organizations / services I’m a part of or using since I usually think they do a great job or provide a great service then, hence me being there in the first place.

I’ve just come about starting on the challenges for responsive web design with Bootstrap there now — something I’ve done some work with (again, personally, not profesionally) earlier, but it is nice to get “the correct approach” to it.

I can’t wait to get deeper into it and working more with it. So far it looks very good, and I can absolutely recommend this service for everyone who’s considering to start learning web development.

If you have your own personal experiences with this service, or perhaps know of similar services, you’re welcome to leave a comment below.

Going over to encrypted messaging

Recently I’ve become more aware of where my communication goes when I communicate online. This is not because I have any reason to be sceptical per se, but it’s more of a principal matter.

One reference here: — Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence

In light of this, I have made the choice of not using US services for important communications, be it Facebook, Apple (iMessage, etc) or Google.

I do use these services, but it is for normal stuff — liking cat photos, sharing my own photos, see what friends and family are sharing, etc.

Even if a US service says it doesn’t share information on users and comms with authorities, I dont trust it, because of the general way the entire system works over there (read: the US), and it has lost the little trust I had in it.

And in general I prefer Open Source services. I’ll happily support good services to keep them going.

Sooo, I have made a decision to use services in countries with privacy laws I know are better, like here (Norway — for now), Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. The main mail service I use for important emails like sharing bank informations with friends and family and other important data is ProtonMail, with encryption enabled.

For messaging, I prefer to use Signal, and perhaps Telegram. I do use local SMS for general messages, and for general mails with non-important content — like cat photos — I use gmail, like I have done since the beta in the early 2000’s.

Perhaps I’ll get viewed as a paranoid ‘tinfoil hat’ person that all to often comes portrayed in movies like Woody Harrelson’s role in the movie ‘2012’ — “It’s the government, maaan!” — but I think it is OK to be somewhat aware of how the communication flows, how it is secured, and who might be looking at it without you knowing.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I also use NordVPN for most of my online surfing, be it reading news or logging into my bank. And I have activated two-factor authentication on all services that offers it, and I’m careful with the services that doesn’t.

I believe it is smart to be aware and to take measures to secure my communication, both for me and for those I communicate with. I wouldn’t like to have someone looking in my window to see what I’m doing, even if I’m just sitting in my couch or eating dinner. For me, the principle is the same with being on the internet.

If you read this and have tips about services and vpn providers you have good experience with, you’re welcome to comment below.