Thnuderbird is a Privacy Risk!

August 16, 2006

When is an email not deleted from your system? when it’s deleted using Mozilla’s Thunderbird.

I finally found out why it took me over a day to convert my Thunderbird emails to Outlook (just the conversion part…it took several days to work out how to convert it): it’s because Thunderbird doesn’t delete your old emails from it’s files, even when you empty out your trash cans, they just remain in the file, there to be read by anyone wanting to look for them.

The net result for me: a inbox in Outlook 2007 Beta 2 this morning (I actually ended up going to bed last night at 10pm with the import sitting on 97%) of 76,000 odd emails dating back to 2004! All the stuff I had deleted was there, nearly 2 years worth of emails!

I’ve just managed to delete 50,000 out of my Outlook Inbox (this itself took 40 minutes for the initial delete then a further 10 minutes for the empty deleted items part), with another 25,000 odd to go.

My advice to people thinking of using Thunderbird: don’t.

4 responses to Thnuderbird is a Privacy Risk!

  1. Preferences -> Offline & Disk Space -> “Compact folders when it will save …”. Or, on demand, select your account and “File -> Compact folders”.

    Personally, I think it should be compacting them by default, but I see how that can be a performance hit on some machines and with large folders. And, personally, I’d like to see Thunderbird using a better mail folder format than what it has.

    But, to be fair, shouldn’t you be complaining that Outlook is incapable of importing one of the most common mail folder formats in existence? Thunderbird uses the standard “mailbox” format, all e-mails are in plain ASCII. Any decent e-mail software should be able to read that with no conversion…

  2. Wilson,
    I tried a whole pile of other programs as well, none of them would import the Thunderbird files. I’m also aware of the Compact feature: indeed, I used it regularly, it still left the emails there.

    did this, the Windows Version feels like you’re using Eudora in Windows 3.11, it’s bloody awful…which is ashame really because in it’s native Linux it’s a damn fine app.