Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by dwok » Wed, 15 Dec 2004 01:01:06


Hello All,

I just started using Thunderbird for access to my IMAP server and I
am wondering what data is saved to my hard drive. I use thunderbird to
access my personal email from my work laptop. My laptop is backed up
remotely by the IS department during the day while it is docked. I want
to ensure that my personal email is not "backed up" along with
everything else.

I have Thunderbird setup for online use only but after looking at the
contents of the *.msf files in my proifile directory I can see email
addresses and subject lines with a text editor. This concerns me as I
was hoping to find a solution that downloaded nothing to my laptop, and
if that could not be accomplished then I would like to at least encrypt
anything that had to be downloaded.
Is Thunderbird capable of this? Thanks for any suggestions.

- Derek
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Sam » Wed, 15 Dec 2004 08:58:02

This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this text, it means that
your E-mail or Usenet software does not support MIME signed messages.

dwok writes:


Thunderbird, like most IMAP clients, probably does some automatic caching of
downloaded content. Otherwise the response time would be unbearably slow.

If your company policy prohibits accessing personal E-mail from work, then
the solution to your problem is to stop accessing personal E-mail from work.

At my day job, because it involves access to sensitive financial
information, company policy expressly prohibits employees from accessing
their personal E-mail outside the firm's firewall, because it opens up a
potential vector for virus or trojan infestation, that bypasses the firm's
mail filters that heavily scan all mail and blacklist most Microsoft
shitware filetypes.

I suspect that you're in the same situation. Another potential solution to
your problem is that if you get caught as a source of a virus outbreak
inside the LAN, you will quickly find yourself unemployable within your
industry, and you won't have to worry about Thunderbird caching mail
content, any more.



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Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by dwok » Wed, 15 Dec 2004 12:39:04

Wow. What an incrediblely well thought out answer. To bad it doesn't
have anything to do with my question. In actuality there is no
restriction at my work for accessing personal mail, I simply wanted to
make sure my email was not being backed up onto tape. That being said I
don't want to take up any more of your valuable time as I am sure you
have plenty more people to lecture on the dangers of computer viruses.
Go get em tiger...
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Simon Caps » Wed, 15 Dec 2004 20:26:05


You'll probably find most helpful people on this list are sysadmins and
are fed-up with users trying to circumvent their carefully set-up
security. I suspect that Sam assumed this was happening in your case
and didn't want to give advice that would annoy your sysadmin, or make
you unwittingly unemployed. Of course if it's your company or you're
the sysadmin then things are a bit different. Sam's virus warnings are
probably still valid though if you're bypassing your anti-virus email
gateway.

Simon
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by wkearney9 » Thu, 16 Dec 2004 00:29:19

gt; You'll probably find most helpful people on this list are sysadmins and

Yeah, what he said. When you're an employee you have NO legal expectations
of privacy when using their equipment, on their time, at their facilities,
etc. If you don't want them knowing... then don't open the door.

That said, thunderbird stores it's data for your mail in the folder:

%USERPROFILE%\Application
Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\52bmvoen.slt\ImapMail

Your folder names might be different that 'default\52bmvoen.slt' as that's
unique to my setup of the profile. But it'll be in essentially the same
place. Go look.

The locations of where these files reside is controlled in the file prefs.js
in that same folder. As in:

user_pref("mail.root.imap", "C:\\Documents and
Settings\\username.DOMAIN\\Application
Data\\Mozilla\\Profiles\\default\\52bmvoen.slt\\ImapMail");

Then there's also a prefs entry for each account it knows about as a
numbered 'serverX' set of preferences:

user_pref("mail.server.server1.directory", "C:\\Documents and
Settings\\username.DOMAIN\\Application
Data\\Mozilla\\Profiles\\default\\52bmvoen.slt\\ImapMail\\imapserver.example
.com");

It would, in theory, be possible to change the location that prefs.js uses
for an account. If you have some local folder on your machine that you KNOW
isn't backed up then you could use that.

I'd caution you *against* using a flash drive for this purpose as those do
have read/write limits. If you can, get a microdrive or some other
non-flash storage drive and use that instead. Mail is very read/write
intensive and you'll wear out a flash drive trying to use it for mail.
Perhaps not right away but a lot sooner than their intended lifespan.

If I were in that situation I'd get a PCMCIA microdrive (basically a compact
flash microdrive in a PCMCIA carrier) and use it for all my personal files.
Just make sure it's not plugged in when any sort of network backup execution
occurs and you should be reasonably safe. They make them in increments up
to 5gb in size.

To do this you'd quit Thunderbird, create the new folders on the microdrive,
move the current files into the new folders on the microdrive and then
change prefs.js to point to the new locations. You'll have to make the
necessary folders and subfolders. If I were doing it, and my microdrive was
on F:, I'd use something like this for only the mail servers I don't keep on
the company's drives:

user_pref("mail.server.server1.directory",
"F:\\Mozilla\\Profiles\\default\\52bmvoen.slt\\ImapMail\\imapserver.example.
com");

That way any legitimate accounts you're using ARE backed up properly and
only your personal ones are kept on the other drive. Changing
mail.root.imap is probably NOT what you want. Only change the
mail.server.serverX.directory value for that account (and make sure you move
the files into that location).

But bear in mind that your profile probably resides on a network share and
that's the place that all programs usually store their default settings. So
while your data might be on the microdrive the setup information might still
be on the profile. If you screw up at work and they're looking for reasons
to fire your ass that would be one way to 'catch' you.

It is possible to reconfigure thunderbird to start with ALL of it's
preferences on the microdrive. Then you could selectively change the work
account info to use the network drive. Be careful of this b
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Sam » Thu, 16 Dec 2004 08:59:17

This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this text, it means that
your E-mail or Usenet software does not support MIME signed messages.

dwok writes:


Yeah, too bad that you've just missed an opportunity to persuade others to
agree with you, by forgetting to quote the answer you think so highly of.

A casual browser, entering this thread, won't be able to see what you're
responding to, because you utterly failed to quote anything, for some
reason. Your message leaves an impression that you're talking to nobody in
particular, and you're likely to be written off as yet another deranged
net.kook.


Really? And why's that? It's not like we're talking about massive amounts
of data, or anything. It's negligible, just a handful of small files. What
possible reason could you have (other than not wanting your employer to know
that you're reading personal E-mail when you should be working) for avoiding
your data getting backed up?

I'm sure that you have a logical answer that makes sense, and I'm anxious to
know what it is.



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Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by dwok » Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:29:19

> Really? And why's that? It's not like we're talking about massive
amounts
files. What
to know
avoiding
anxious to

Ahh... I see. So anyone who wants to keep their email or anything else
of that nature private has got something to hide? That makes a lot of
sense. Senator McCarthy would be proud.

Well in any case, thank you to the people that took the time to answer
the original question. It was very helpful.
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Sam » Fri, 17 Dec 2004 08:56:33

This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this text, it means that
your E-mail or Usenet software does not support MIME signed messages.

dwok writes:


So, let me summarize: you don't want your personal E-mail backed up because
you are a defender of free speech, and a champion of civil liberties?

Why, I had no idea. I salute you sir, for your selfless contribution for
the betterment of our society. You should definitely receive the
Congressional Medal of Honor for your efforts. I salute you!



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Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Jochen Ber » Fri, 17 Dec 2004 09:26:36


Is that implicit description supposed to match you? Because in *that*
case, a company-wide - and supposedly well-managed - backups system is
the *least* of your concerns (as opposed to non-backed-up scratch files
on local disk, sniffing the data right off the network, keyloggers,
spyware, VNC, TEMPEST, etc., right down to a simple mini camera hidden
where it can read the screen over your shoulder).

Regards,
J. Bern
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Josh » Sun, 19 Dec 2004 03:28:30

Sam < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > writes:


Seems reasonable to me...


I guess you're mocking him because you think privacy, free
speech and civil liberties are worthless?

I don't think it's unreasonable to want to keep the contents of
private email from being backed up at work. Personally, I
suggest accessing email remotely via webmail or ssh, but I
suppose this requires additional hardware/services.

Josh
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Sam » Sun, 19 Dec 2004 08:42:04

This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this text, it means that
your E-mail or Usenet software does not support MIME signed messages.

Josh writes:


There's certainly no shortage of self-appointed Caped Crusaders on the
Internet, that's for sure.


No, I'm mocking him because he thinks that he's entitled to get paid for
reading his personal E-mail on company time.


When you graduate and land a real job, feel free to share this opinion with
your boss -- and don't let the doorhandle hit you on the ass on the way out.



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Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Eustace Ti » Mon, 20 Dec 2004 12:26:50

When did you appoint yourself the Official comp.mail.imap Scold,
Crusader Sam?


the
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Sam » Tue, 21 Dec 2004 02:28:57

This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this text, it means that
your E-mail or Usenet software does not support MIME signed messages.

Eustace Tilley writes:


You've got your bits crossed, Spanky. It's the other dude who've claimed
his destiny as a crusader for civil liberties.


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Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Josh » Wed, 22 Dec 2004 06:46:10

Sam < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > writes:


Are you talking to me?

Many people around the office check their personal mail at work
from time to time. Perhaps you may understand when you admit
that everyone's workplace is not identical to your own.

Josh
 
 
 

Thunderbird : What is saved to the host computer?

Post by Sam » Wed, 22 Dec 2004 08:32:51

This is a MIME GnuPG-signed message. If you see this text, it means that
your E-mail or Usenet software does not support MIME signed messages.

Josh writes:


I concede that taxpayer-funded government jobs are not as accountable as
they should be.


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