Why a Free Email Service Could Put You at Risk

November 15, 2017
EMAIL AND TECHNOLOGY

As many Americans have multiple email addresses — perhaps one for work, another for personal correspondence and another for promotions — few want to pay to register an email address. Free email dominates the nation’s online-communications sector, but is the cost-saving worth the potential risk?

What are the Risks of Free Email?

While the lack of a price tag for services like Gmail and Yahoo attracts big followings, mass services like these could lead to security breaches. Just last year, Yahoo revealed that more than half a billion of its accounts were compromised in what was considered one of the largest cyber attacks in history. To make matters worse, it took the company more than two years to discover — meaning users’ potentially sensitive information like credit card numbers, addresses and more were exposed to hackers for a significant amount of time.

Unlike secure private email, free email giants store all of their users’ messages on an external database, opening up even more avenues for security issues. Once your messages are cataloged externally, they move outside the realm of your control. While users’ personal messages could be at risk, corporations also face significant threats, as free public email offers few protections and safeguards for the significant volumes of sensitive information that companies often manage through email.

What Can I Do to Protect Myself?

Secure free email handled through a private server is a much safer method if you’re looking to protect both your privacy and your wallet. Private providers store your content internally, which allows for more oversight and regulations, and fewer security threats.

It’s important to remember privacy concerns when you’re selecting an email provider. Free email dominates the nations’s online-communications sector, but is the cost-saving worth the potential risks of having free email?

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