Things I did not know – Cox Pop over SSL

In George Ou’s blog entry titled “Email Security Has been around forever, you just have to turn it on” George asserts

“My current DSL provider AT&T like most ISPs supports SSL encryption on POP3 and SMTP and it’s as simple as a checkmark and using ports 995 for POP3 and 465 for SMTP instead of the usual ports 110 and 25”

I wasn’t aware that my ISP, Cox Communications, offered POP over SSL so I decided to give it a try. Its actually listed in their support site. I just wasn’t aware of it. It looks like they started this about a week or two ago.
I placed a check in the “this server requires a secure connection” box and changed the pop3 server name to spop.east.cox.net and I was set.
Now if only cox would enable ssl for webmail communications like they said they would do 7 months ago. According to posts from Cox employees at Broadband Reports webmail SSL will be coming soon.
Some users would like SMTP over SSL. Currently Cox does not use authentication for SMTP so what is there to protect? If you argue the data of the message, I would suggest if the data is so important use S/MIME. Because Cox SMTP is used on network only, you’re less likely to be sending mail from a insecure location requiring client to server SMTP encryption.