Microsoft Outlook Update Raises Privacy Concerns
Microsoft recently rolled out a new version of its Outlook mail application. While the tech giant is eager for users to try out the updated software, an unsettling functionality should give privacy-focused users pause. The application appears to transfer all email messages and user credentials for IMAP and SMTP to Microsoft servers – even for users who use a different provider, such as StartMail.
What’s the Issue?
When you add a new account in the latest version of Outlook, you run the risk of sharing your IMAP and SMTP credentials along with all your emails with Microsoft's servers. This essentially allows Microsoft to read and analyze all your emails. Although you can switch back to the previous app anytime, your data would have already been synced and stored by that point. The issue was first reported by German news outlet Heise.de, where you can find more details about the issue.
The new Outlook version is a recommended app on the Windows Start menu for devices running Windows 11's 2023 update. However, the threat is not limited to Windows users, as Outlook versions for iOS, Mac, and Android behave similarly.
How to Protect Your Emails
New developments in email technology are inevitable, however they should never compromise on user privacy. To safeguard your emails, we recommend avoiding the new Outlook.
If you are a StartMail customer, you can use our secure webmail, by logging into your account at mail.startmail.com, or opt for a different email client such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail or mobile clients like K9 Mail or FairEmail for Android devices. Check out our dedicated support center articles for information on how to set up your StartMail account in one of these email clients.
At StartMail, we take every measure to protect the privacy and security of your email communication but it is equally important for you to be mindful when choosing to use applications from other providers. Whenever you consider using new software or updating existing ones, exercise caution and take into account the potential implications on your privacy.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.