Although RiseUp is a secure email service managed by trustworthy advocates of Internet privacy and security, an unusual email service may attract unwarranted attention. It might make more sense in some situations, to blend in by using a popular email service in your country. The goal is to make this decision without compromising your minimum security requirements. We offer the following points for consideration when choosing an email service:
Does it permit the use of encrypted channels (like https, and other SSL encrypted versions of protocols like IMAPs, POP3s, SMTPs) for transferring all information (including login-in information, and your emails), and are there any encryption-related problems (for example, problems related to encryption certificates)?
Are the email servers managed in secure way? Are they run by professionals who are committed to using the best practices for protecting your information? Do you trust they will not provide access to your information, for any reason (commercial, political, religious, etc.), to third parties?
Do you know the geographical location of the servers, under which territorial jurisdiction they fall or where the company is registered? Are you aware of how this information relates to the privacy and security of your email activity and information?
In some parts of the world, Google Mail would prove a good alternative to RiseUp, offering a better "blending in" effect, without compromising much of the security (given its commercial nature).
1.1 Things you should know about RiseUp before you start
RiseUp is a collective dedicated to providing private and secure hosting, listing and mail services for individuals and organisations who are committed to political and social justice. As their services are free and Riseup is not monitoring your activity, your email account is much smaller than other advertisement-driven and non-secure providers. A new account can only be registered by those who have received an invite code from two existing members. Read more about Riseup on their website.
RiseUp operates exclusively over the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), providing a secure connection between your computer and their server. This security is maintained when reading your email in a client program, over secure POP, IMAP and SMTP connections (these refer to protocols used by a email client program to download or send your emails). RiseUp is compatible with Mozilla Thunderbird. To learn how to set up Mozilla Thunderbird to access your RiseUp email account, please refer to the chapter on Thunderbird.
In addition to email accounts RiseUp also provides:
RiseUp offers you two different methods for registering an email account. Each method requires a differentall investment of effort and time.
1). Directly request an account from the RiseUp team themselves. Bear in mind that RiseUp generally runs on donations and the enthusiasm and goodwill of its volunteers - this method can take longer to be approved for an account.
2). The recommended method is for individuals and/or organisations to be invited to join by two existing RiseUp account members. This method requires that each existing RiseUp member sends you an invite code. To see how such codes are generated, please refer to Section 4.3 The Invites Page
After you have received your invite codes, perform the following steps to register your free RiseUp account as follows:
Step 2. Click to activate the Request account page as follows:
Figure 2: The RiseUp Request an email account page
Step 3. Click to display the RiseUpRequest an email account - About our email service page.
Important: You must agree to all terms and conditions stated on the About our email service page to proceed with the RiseUp account setup.
Step 5. Click to begin creating your RiseUp account by filling out the following on-line forms: Account information, Password and Activation.
Step 6. Enter a desired username for your account. This will become your login and your email address. (In this tutorial, we based our example on 'ssayyed' to generate an email account known as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important: Do not use commas, full stops or spaces in the username.
Figure 3: An example of a completed Account information form
Note that the fields Alternate email, Language, Country and Time Zone are not changed or they are left empty, to minimise the amount of personal information that you store on the server. Leaving Alternate email field empty will provide better privacy, but will not let you reset your password for this account in case you forget it.
Step 7. Click to proceed to the Password form.
Note: If you chosen username is already taken, you will be prompted to create a different one.
Step 8. Fill-in the Password and Retype password fields and click to proceed.
Figure 4: The completed Password form
Important: The password for your RiseUp account is the most important factor in the security of your account. To learn how to create a strong password, please refer to the How-to Booklet chapter How to Create and Maintain Good Passwords and to the manual on KeePass.
Step 9. Complete the Activation form.
If you have received Invite codes from RiseUp account users that you know personally, type the Invite codes into their respective fields. Each Invite code much come from a different user. Alternatively you can request an account by RiseUp.net by completing the Tell us about yourself field. If you provide Invite codes, do not fill in the Tell us about yourself field.
Type the Invite codes into their respective text fields.
Figure 5: An example of a completed Activation form
Step 10. Click to request your RiseUp account or to finish creating your RiseUp account as follows:
Figure 6: An example of an account successfully created confirmation
Step 11. Click to return to the RiseUp Mail Home Page (see figure 1).
Congratulations! You have successfully created or requested your RiseUp email account.
The RiseUp web mail login page is divided into the login section in the centre, and a group of links below it:
If you are using a public or shared computer (for example in an Internet café, community centre or library), you can enter your password by using the virtual keyboard. It offers your email account another layer of protection from key-logger programs. Key-logger programs are designed to monitor user's physical key strokes to record passwords, usernames and other vital information. Virtual keyboard allow users to circumvent this security vulnerability, by letting the user enter their password using the mouse.
To use the RiseUpvirtual keyboard, perform the following steps:
RiseUp lets you modify different settings for your account. You can specify the size of your email box, change your account name and address, add aliases and much more. You can also
create invite codes to help your friends and colleagues register their own RiseUp account.
You can change your username on this screen, which will also change your email address. The new username should also be unique. Here you may also change any other account details such as the alternate email, password and so on.
Note that the fields Language, Country and Time Zone should not be changed to minimise amount of personal information that you store on the server.
Step 2. Type in your new information, then click to display this message:
The Email settings page lets you modify or view information related to email storage. You can even set the 'quota' or amount of space reserved for your email account on a RiseUp server.
Step 1. Click to open the following screen:
Figure 5: The Email settings page
Step 2. Enter an appropriate number into the Quota text field.
Note: Your account is limited in size to a maximum of your disk quota (by default it is 92 MB at this moment). If you need more space, consider downloading your email using a mail client like Thunderbird, and do not keep them on the server.
You may also create aliases for your account on this page. An alias is like a nickname for your account. Whilst the main account will remain as before, people will be able to send email to your alias address as well.
Figure 6: The Aliases section of the Email settings page
Example: email@example.com account now has two aliases. Email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com will be forwarded to the main account. This maybe a useful practice to keep your real account address private.
Note There are other configuration settings available on this page which you access from the tabs and links as shown on figure 5. Some of them are:
Spam settings : Allows you to configure how a RiseUp server will manage suspected spam (unwanted emails);
Mail filters : Allows you to configure a RiseUp server to sort your incoming emails into different folders or delete specific emails;
Fix mailbox : Can help in a situation where your mailbox stops working;
Restore mail from backups : Can restore your mailbox content from a backup stored on a RiseUp server;
Destroy mailbox : Will remove your mailbox completely, along with all emails in all folders. You will be able to log in to this account again and create an new (empty) mailbox.
Q: In which circumstances would I use the default (Roundcube) as opposed to the SquirrelMail web email interface?
Q: When creating my account I am uncomfortable giving information about my self, do I have to supply this.
A: No, you are not required to supply any personal information unless you want to.
Q: How can I create an email account for an activist that I know?
A: You need to know another Riseup user and must each generate an invite code to send to your colleague. He or she will use these two codes when creating a Riseup account.
Q: I noticed the two-factor authentication setting in the Roundcube web mail interface, should I use it?
A: Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of protection to your email account by requiring the entry of a random, changing code in addition to your password when login in. However at this time even if you set it up and activate you can still access your emails without a need to use two-factor authentication with SquirrelMail web mail interface or with an email client (like Thunderbird) over POP/IMAP access. We are looking forward to further development of the two-factor authentication support on Riseup.
What is the difference between reading your email over webmail and reading through an email client program?
What is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and how does it work?
What is a virtual keyboard and how does it work?
How can you add an alias to your email account?
For what length of time is a newly created invite code valid?