Desktop email clients communicate with the mail server by one of two protocols: IMAP or POP. Communication with the mail server may be set to encrypted (recommended) or not. POP from off campus must be set to encrypted. The encrypted communication is often referred to as "secure".
In general, we recommend secure IMAP.
Be very careful if you experiment with a POP email client. It may move all your mail from the server to the local computer. Many POP email clients have a setting to "keep all email on the server" to prevent this.
If you use gmail, it has a facility to POP your MHC email to your gmail account. See http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/network/email/gmail-pop.txt for more information.
For reasons of security and backup, for College employees whose email may contain critical College business, POP not be used. Email folders pertaining to college business should be left on the MHC server.
(The College provides technical support for Thunderbird and Webmail.)
Here are a the most important settings when you set up Thunderbird. (The wording below was taken from a Windows installation. If you are using Macintosh, the wording may be slightly different but the concepts remain the same.)
For a more detailed description of Thunderbird setup, go to the main MHC webpage and search the MHC website for "thunderbird setup".
============================================================================= Creating or modifying your Thunderbird email setup. Tools/Account settings: If necessary, "Account actions"/"Add mail account" (Make sure you are doing IMAP and not POP!) Check the following: Server settings Server name: mail.mtholyoke.edu Username: (your username, such as: sam20j) Security settings: (our recommendations) Select "SSL" Do not check "Use secure authentication" Advanced: (this is very important) IMAP server directory: mail Uncheck: Show only subscribed folders Check: Server supports ... Check: Use IDLE... Outgoing server (SMTP) settings: smtp.mtholyoke.edu Select and Edit the selection to get the dialog box: SMTP server: Username: Off campus, make sure your username is included. On campus, you may use your username. It will then ask for authentication the first message you send that session. Check "TLS, if available" or "STARTTLS" This allows you to send email through our outgoing mail server from off campus. =============================================================================