To Email... Or Not

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Welcome back, friend! I am glad you joined me for another Tech Talk Thursday! Let me give you one FYI about myself and the articles I will prepare for the next few weeks. We all know about how awesome technology is! Every year there is something new that peaks our interest. One example of this is cell phones! A new phone launches that has the best bells and whistles; we GOT to have it! So we know that technology and the evolution of technology is wonderful! However, (yes however) all great things can quickly come to an end. By that I simply mean that in order to continue this upward slope with technology, there are risk as well as responsibilities we must know about as a user of any technological device. I want to make sure I promote the things that are often missed in the fine print of a User Agreement manual that falls into the pit of “IDC”.

Emailing is a topic that I feel like we need to be discussed because that is a prevalent source of communication among business as well as the everyday individual. Email accounts that are created or maintained through a business have a standard level of security of what the “gate keepers” or network administrators allow. But what about your personal email account? What level of security do you know of that you have with those emails to help protect the information that you are sending? According to US-Cert, “Although free email services have many benefits, you should not use them to send sensitive information. Because you are not paying for the account, the organization may not have a strong commitment to protecting you from various threats or to offering you the best service.”

Security, privacy and reliability are all risk that are taken when the email account you paid for is free. Below are further explanation of each area(US-Cert):

Security - If your login, password, or messages are sent in plain text, they may easily be intercepted. If a service provider offers SSL encryption, you should use it. You can find out whether this is available by looking for a "secure mode" or by replacing the "http:" in the URL with "https:".

Privacy - You aren't paying for your email account, but the service provider has to find some way to recover the costs of providing the service. One way of generating revenue is to sell advertising space, but another is to sell or trade information. Make sure to read the service provider's privacy policy or terms of use to see if your name, your email address, the email addresses in your address book, or any of the information in your profile has the potential of being given to other organizations (see Protecting Your Privacy for more information). If you are considering forwarding your work email to a free email account, check with your employer first. You do not want to violate any established security policies.

Reliability - Although you may be able to access your account from any computer, you need to make sure that the account is going to be available when you want to access it. Familiarize yourself with the service provider's terms of service so that you know exactly what they have committed to providing you. For example, if the service ends or your account disappears, can you retrieve your messages? Does the service provider give you the ability to download messages that you want to archive onto your machine? Also, if you happen to be in a different time zone than the provider, you may find that their server maintenance interferes with your normal email routine.

Lets all make sure that we keep this in mind the next time we are sending out emails!









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