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e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:49 pm
by tojag
I see that e-mail communication does not hide sender address. When user send email via board, receipment can see sender address in email header. It is visible as return-to address. Is it normally or a mistake?

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My email settings in ACP:
Enable board-wide emails - enabled.
Users send email via board - enabled.
Contact email address - info@myforum.com.
From email address - info@myforum.com.
Force email address - Yes. (This will be set the Return-Path to the from email address...)
Hide email address - Yes. (This function keeps email address completly private).
Use SMTP server for email - No.
Maybe the problem is with "Force email address"? I don't know how can I setting it. Maybe the problem is with "Force email address"? I don't know how can I setting email configuration in ACP or server to hide sender email address :(
Please help.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:36 am
by canonknipser
It's not possible with phpBB - you always need a senders address.
And furthermore:
AFAIK if a email doesn't contain a sender address, it is treated as spam by nearly all receiving mail servers / clients

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:45 am
by tojag
On some systems, the user's address is really hidden. Messages are sent from the website address and return path, also leads to the site without revealing the address of the user who sent the email. e.g. booking.com.

In phpbb, the sender's address is the address entered in the "From email address" settings. So what do these two settings mean?
Force email address - Yes. (This will be the Return-Path to the email address ...)
Hide email address - Yes. (This function keeps email address completly private).


I thought it was just hiding addresses of users sending a message to someone.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:35 pm
by canonknipser
tojag wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:45 am
Hide email address - Yes. (This function keeps email address completly private).

I thought it was just hiding addresses of users sending a message to someone.
No, it is hiding the receivers mail address (and the senders address, too), when sending a email using the contact information in the profile of another user.
When "hide email" is choosen, the mail is sent via phpBB email function, the sender is always the boards contact address.
When not hidden, there is a simple mailto:somebody@example.com with the receivers mail address link in the users profile. Due to default browser behaviour, this opens your preferred mail client in your personal operating system. This exposes the receivers mail address to the sender and the senders mail address to the receiver.

Edit: and it is a good practice to use functional, not personal mail addresses for phpBB's contact and from addresses

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:47 am
by tojag
OK. Thanks for explanation. I thought it should working as in booking.com :(
I'm closing the topic.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:17 pm
by TearAByte
So am I correct in reading this as there is no way to hide a board-member's email address when emailing another member via PHPBB??

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:15 am
by AmigoJack
Yes.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:15 am
by tojag
This is quite unfortunate in the context of GDPR. In the description of the contact form I added information that sending a message will reveal the sender's e-mail by placing it as a return address. It would probably be better if the return address was the same as the destination one. Whoever received an e-mail from someone from the forum would only know the user's name without the possibility of sending a message from the e-mail program. To write back, he would have to log in to the forum, find a user and send him an e-mail. This is not convenient, however, it does not disclose e-mail addresses.

The Booking.com system creates return email addresses with numerical identifiers and it is likely that when the answer goes to the server it is sent to the user with this identifier. In any case, you can send an email to another user without revealing your own. The recipient can write to such an e-mail from the e-mail program without knowing the e-mail address of the recipient.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:27 am
by AmigoJack
tojag wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:15 am
if the return address was the same as the destination one
Again this is penalized by most if not all transfer agents, which mostly leads to a spam classification.

tojag wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:15 am
The Booking.com system creates return email addresses with numerical identifiers and it is likely that when the answer goes to the server it is sent to the user with this identifier
I'm quite sure everybody who talks about "hiding address" knows how it works (eBay and Amazon are doing the same for decades already) and that only other addresses are used. phpBB is unable to realize this, as it is not maintaining the transfer agent in any way. Hence, "random" addresses cannot be created in the first place, not to speak about avoiding spam detection again with such addresses.

PMs are a good alternative and even offer to send to multiple recipients blindly (so none of them knows who else got the same PM).

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:29 pm
by TearAByte
I run several websites (Wordpress, Drupal) and they all send messages as from the system admin which is a valid address (ie; admin@domain.com) and spam is a non-issue so I dont understand why this is a problem.

anyway - i was forced to disable the email contact option and enable only "Private Messages" instead. Now, when a member gets a PM, they get an email, sent from the board-admin to let them, and that works just fine.. No privacy issue, no spam issue.

The "its a spam issue" argument does not fly..

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:44 pm
by AmigoJack
You misunderstood most things:
  • Having the same sender address as the recipient one is categorized as spam.
  • Wanting to reply to an e-mail is wanted, in contrast to what you want.
phpBB administrators can send e-mails to individual users - in that case the sender address is the one of the board.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:10 pm
by stevemaury
Is it the intent of the EU to anonymize all emails? Obviously, that would make email useless. Why is it necessary to anonymize it merely because two people that are members of the same board send it to each other?

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:32 am
by tojag
TearAByte wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:29 pm
I run several websites (Wordpress, Drupal) and they all send messages as from the system admin which is a valid address (ie; admin@domain.com) and spam is a non-issue so I dont understand why this is a problem.
[...]
The "its a spam issue" argument does not fly..
You don't understand. The sender address is of course address setting by admin in ACP. It can be admin @ website.com, it is not a problem. The problem is the sender address is reveal by setting it as a return address. So, if receiver wants to answer and will click on 'reply', he will see the sender address in he's email programm in the field 'recipient'. Or he can see return path in a source of e-mail message.
But I understand what Canonknisper and AmigoJack wrote. Probably it cannot be different.
As I wrote to make users aware:
"In the description of the contact form I added information that sending a message will reveal the sender's e-mail by placing it as a return address."

I suggest adding this to the official text in the description of the contact form, because not all users are aware of this. They think that if they send an e-mail through the forum, the sender will not know about their address. Awareness of certain things or rather unconsciousness by many people is what caused legal actions in the EU, which mainly consist in informing about cookies or about privacy policy. Computers goes to homes and people really use them without much awareness of what they do. Especially now, when they have everything at hand on your smartphone. They click and do not think.

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:48 am
by david63
tojag wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:32 am
"In the description of the contact form I added information that sending a message will reveal the sender's e-mail by placing it as a return address."
The contact form will only go to the Admin and Admins have access to email addresses anyway so there is no problem there and if you have Users send email via board enabled then again there is no problem

Re: e-mail communication show user addresses

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:06 am
by tojag
David, again, you want to clarify me, but as I see both the e-mail form as a contact form use the same description from the language file. Believe me, users often have trouble understanding this 'why does the forum reveal my email address if I wrote to someone via the email contact form and not from the email program?'. What should I answer then? I explain, I try but people accept it differently.