A friend of mine whose vision is compromised and who is more about the Arts and Humanities than STEM informs me she is struggling with .

I recommended Protonmail to my friend so I could write about a sensitive situation. We live far away from each other so i cannot set her client with .

One option i am considering is password protection.
How do you or protect longer with people who are not tech-inclined and have some vision degeneration?

Β· Web Β· 9 Β· 14 Β· 6

@cosullivan Was about to suggest talking to them about this, but then looked up if it is a known problem:
There is post on that problem on their reddit about this, where they mention that they are currently working on improving the visuals. See here:

Otherwise I'd suggest using PGP, which is what ProtonMail actually uses. There are plugins e.g. for Thunderbird (I think they are even making it a core feature) and probably for other mail programs too.

@cosullivan I don't know how easy it is to set those up though. And as you mentioned your friend is not tech savvy. Other ways would be to use things like Signal, what would stop you from sending longer messages. I think they also have a PC version.

@cosullivan PGP is tough and a mess. Perhaps an encrypted messenger with good desktop support might be better? #Signal and #Wire both fit the bill nicely in that respect.

@JonYoder @cosullivan doesn't Wire cost per user per month, as a subscription?

Was the intention for free alternatives? Or does this query have a budget attached?

@eryn @cosullivan Well that busted my bubble! It used to be that Wire had free and paid plans. Apparently no longer. I guess it's just Signal now. :/

@eryn @JonYoder @cosullivan Wire is not a subscription service. Or at least it wasn't when I used it (about two years ago, for about two years).

@drwho @eryn @cosullivan That's the assumption I'd been operating under. There is no mention of that on their page as of just a couple minutes ago. There is only Pro and Enterprise. :(

@drwho @JonYoder @cosullivan could have been my mistake in setting up, but they not only killed my access to my account for "nonpayment", but they also have completely stonewalled me (via email support) about how to use their service with my existing username without paying them per person I wanted to talk to.

Reviewing their pricing page, looks like "somehow" I was signed up for their "pro" plan "trial". Still no idea how I managed to end up with that, and it felt shady af. As far as I can tell, new accounts get a trial, and then you're hosed unless you pay them.

I wanted #Wire to work as my post-#Keybase option, but it's clearly operating on different assumptions and different goals, which are reflected in the user experience quite...painfully.

@eryn @JonYoder @cosullivan Things have changed a lot in the last few years. That's nuts.

@drwho @JonYoder @cosullivan there's literally no way for nontechnicals to communicate securely rn, and tbqh pretty salty about it.

@eryn @drwho @JonYoder @cosullivan Signal gets a lot of crap, but IMO it's by far the most usable option, and it's what I, as a techie, choose to use myself. And I don't tweak it. So far all of the shade I've seen thrown at it is about their choosing usability over ideological purity. And usability is critical for security.

@freakazoid @eryn @JonYoder @cosullivan If it's absolutely not perfect it's crap, remember? Or a sting.

@eryn the intention is for free or no-cost alternatives for a senior no-tech person with vision issues. Free alternatives with low or no learning curves are preferred.

We are in near-daily contact about a situation i'd rather not display to gmail, yahoo, hotmail. That's one challenge - my insistence on privacy. The other challenges are her vision and what she knows and wants to learn about privacy-conscious technologies (none).


@cosullivan @eryn I would then recommend a good look at Signal. My family uses it to keep in touch with my 70-year-old mother-in-law, who also has vision issues. I also use it to contact my 78-year-old mom, too. Both don't seem to have any trouble



#wire still has free (personal account) and paid plans. however, all #metadata is stored unencrypted on wire servers.

#Signal desktop client still does not have voice or video calling

#jami has a good desktop client with voice and video calling, its also distributed, p2p

@cosullivan You can use Protonmail through desktop email apps, would something like Thunderbird have good enough accessibility options?

@jaranta i can find out. i have Enigmail installed with Thunderbird. if/when she informs me what platform, operating system, mail client she has i will know what to try.

@cosullivan For whichever operating system she uses, you could have her install a remote desktop and you could come in and configure it for her.
For actual expertise I know a person @Mayana @Mayana and she may be able to help with practical alternatives.

@gemlog That's a superb idea. she has an Apple computer. I've used Remote Desktop with Windows but not with Apple. @Mayana @Mayana

@cosullivan Maybe Protonmail Bridge with Thunderbird and/or Signal + XMPP? Those can work.

@cosullivan I'm confused about the problem. Is her difficulty with Protonmail based on eyesight issues?

@scooterbird Yes, vision issues are frustrating her protonmail experience. We have a workaround, and thanks to the fediverse several solutions.

@cosullivan Alright. I was going to suggest some magnifiers to assist with the situation, or perhaps a remote management software package so that the UI could be established.

My company specializes in senior users. Familiarity of the interface is a big matter to navigate.

@cosullivan Hey you could maybe look into S/MIME? It's essentially something like PGP but comes with support built-in in clients like Apple Mail, Thunderbird and Outlook and is easier to use but the downside is you need to buy a certificate somewhere. πŸ˜” Alternatively self-signed certificates which you and your friend trust manually but then it's starting to get complicated again. 😒

@cosullivan I had another thought. Couldn’t you set things up for her over TeamViewer Quick Support? πŸ€”

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon @ SDF

"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko