kmail and gmail authentication

On a client’s gmail settings in kmail, in order to login and download
email, he had to set up the system as follows:

IMAP Server:
Username: <username>
Password: <whatever your password is>

In the advanced settings, it is as follows:
Port 993
Authentication: Clear text

My question is about “clear text” authentication. Does “clear text”
mean that anyone monitoring the stream of the login would be able to
see what his password is when he logs in?

If so, how do I change that so that gmail will accept some kind of
encrypted password? If I change it from anything other than “clear
text” in kmail, gmail will not take the login through kmail.

When using thunderbird, the setting is “Normal password”. So I don’t
know if that is encrypted either.

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