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Using ProtonMail alongside iCloud (or another free email service)

I recently made the switch to using ProtonMail on a custom domain for the majority of my email. I like that ProtonMail stores all of my email encrypted and that they use end-to-end TLS when sending and receiving email to and from most large email providers. It means that nobody should be able to snoop my email in transit, and that in the event that my account is compromised, the contents aren’t readable by anyone since they are encrypted (hello, John Podesta…this would have saved you guys bigly).

To make the switch, I’m using a bunch of email forwards to handle things like bill emails and various notifications so I don’t have to update them anymore and I can also have some of them sent to myself and also to my spouse so she knows what’s happening with our finances.

While I’d love to completely cutover to ProtonMail, switching email addresses for all my friends and family is a pain. Because of this, I’m continuing to use iCloud email for a lot of my personal emails. I’m more comfortable with iCloud than something like Yahoo or Gmail because it isn’t ad-supported. I trust Apple to maintain security of my emails. Obviously, I don’t trust someone like Yahoo or Gmail to do the same based on past experience.

That said, I also don’t want all my mail sitting in iCloud forever (just in case), so I’ve set it up to forward my mail to my encrypted box at ProtonMail automatically.

On the ProtonMail side, I use their Gmail-like filters and tags to archive and mark that mail as read, so I don’t get double notified. I tag that mail as “forwarded” so I can find it later and add other tags like “bills” to keep things nicely organized.

The one missing feature I would love to see in ProtonMail is the ability to send via outside SMTP servers so I could reply to my iCloud email within ProtonMail. I’m hopeful that we’ll see that in time, but it’s not the end of the world for now.

Other than that, I feel much more secure knowing my email is stored encrypted in ProtonMail. Over time, I’m hoping to slowly ease back on my use of iCloud and ProtonMail plus a custom domain is turning out to be a great first couple of steps towards that.