4 Comments

Summary:

Unlike other email portals, my.com email accounts will only be accessible through the MyMail app. Instead of using a login and password, MyMail users attach their email to their mobile phone number and receive a text message with an access code when they want to sign in.

my.comfeatureimage

Looking for a new email address? Russian portal Mail.ru bought the domain name my.com for its international brand in late 2012, and now it’s letting users worldwide sign up for @my.com email addresses. Unlike other email portals, my.com email accounts will only be accessible through the MyMail app, which is available for iOS and Android. There will be no webmail, POP3, or IMAP option.

Instead of using a login and password, MyMail users attach their email to their mobile phone number and receive a text message with an access code when the first time they sign in. This means if you change phone numbers, you also lose access to your email.

MyMail represents an interesting approach to security: it requires a malicious party to have physical access to someone’s phone in order to access their correspondence. With no passwords, phishing attacks won’t work. However, if a user loses a phone, wiping it through Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager will not be enough to protect their email — they will have to cancel their SMS plan, too.

Here’s what the login process looks like:

my-dot-com-login

At the moment, the MyMail app is a well-designed mobile mail application that can also manage other email accounts, like Gmail or Yahoo. Eventually, the company hopes to make its email service more immediate, almost like text messaging. After all, if you know someone actively uses a my.com email address, you know they recieve it on their mobile device.

If the user has push notifications turned on, there isn’t much difference between an email and a SMS, or even a message from services like WhatsApp or iMessage. One advantage to emailis that because email is an open protocol, you do not have to sign up for your own my.com account to communicate with my.com users. In 2010, Facebook launched a similar, now-defunct program which gave Facebook Messages users an associated @facebook.com email address.

The MyMail account comes with 150GB of cloud storage and you can sign up for an address now. Go claim your namespace.

  1. Dilip Andrade Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Effectively they’re going to a one-time password that they send you by SMS… they could just as easily let you log in from a browser as long as you provide the password they send you.

    It just seems a little gimmicky to me.

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    1. My.com: not gimmicky at all. Registration via SMS is a very modern approach for mobile services. In fact, it is more secure method than having a password. We don’t offer the email service through a mobile browser either because people have more than one email account. myMail also lets you manage all your email accounts in one app. Have a great day.

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  2. Their approach to security, unfortunately, comes at the cost the usefulness of email.

    Typing out a quick message is ideal for smart phone usage — either as an SMS or an email. But if you have to type anything at length, a computer is the best tool to use. So using my.com means ALWAYS TYPING on a ~5 inch screen.

    They could just have a web-based interface where the act of logging in requires that you enter a string of characters that was sent to your phone via SMS. The password would be good for 15 minutes, then you’d be booted. Same security logic, but with the ability to use a real computer.

    If my.com wants to reply to my comment, don’t use a computer! reply via your phone to see how useless it is to type so much text on a small device.

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  3. Does it make it easier for them to hide while Phishing? I keep getting “E-Z pass” notices saying I haven’t paid for using tolls from team@great-event.ru. How is this fitting in to the whole new scheme of things?

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