This will be old news to experienced Emacs users but I just discovered it. Emacs allows you to edit remote files and by default, uses an FTP implementation named ange-ftp. FTP = plain-text password transmission = bad.
TRAMP is an Emacs extension which allows secure login to edit remote files. It may or may not be bundled with your Emacs distribution. No problem for Ubuntu; just “sudo apt-get install tramp”. Then edit your ~/.emacs to include the line:
(setq tramp-default-method "ssh")
To open a remote file in Emacs, do C-x C-f as usual and enter:
My version is a little buggy in that I get the message “Args out of range 0,0” if I mess with the Emacs window size, so maximise your window and leave it that way if you have the same problem.