No matter how cheap any email hosting service is, it still counts as a paid service. You have to pay some amount, no matter how little. So it would be a valid question to ask, ”Why should we pay for cheap email hosting UK when we can get the same features in any free email hosting?” We will find the answer to this question in this article.
Many services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook will provide you with a free email account. You can easily access your email with a browser-like interface. They will offer good storage and other appealing features as well.
Why Are Free Email Services More Attractive Than Cheap Email Hosting?
Let us first find out why people like free email services.
The first thing is accessibility. Any device can help you access your account or accounts. Sometimes, you are far away from your personal computer. These free email services are helpful in such situations.
So, it is always great to have a free email account. That would be best if you are worried about your sensitive data because of using sensitive details of your account.
The second is the list of competitive features. These features include large storage amounts, excellent virus protection, spam filtering, and enhanced fonts and graphics. They continue adding more features as they constantly compete for new customers.
Third, are the extra capabilities. The trend of free email providers offering additional services or software is rising. One example is instant messaging. It helps them get more and more customers. Service is already free, and then you have an extra service attached. Who would not feel an instant urge to buy?
These free email accounts also help you control spam. You can reduce spam at your primary email address. You can have a free secondary address and enter it when shopping online, commenting in forums, and requesting services, rather than a primary email address.
Risks Associated With Free Email Services
So, free email services have many benefits. But they also come with many risks. It is better not to use them for sending sensitive information. The provider does not work hard to provide you with the best security, and not paying could be one of the most important reasons. Their commitment could be lesser due to zero cost.
- The first reason is security. Yes, you are not safe on free email services. Anyone can easily access your messages. It is effortless to intercept your messages, login, and password when they are in the form of plain text. However, it would be a sign of trust if SSL encryption is available. One way to find out is to find a secure mode. Also, you would see https instead of http in the address bar when the free email service is safe.
- At number two comes privacy. You are not paying does not mean providers do not care about the cost and profit. They will have to find other ways of cost recovery and revenue generation. For example, they can sell advertising space. One other way is to sell the information.
So, make sure that you read your provider’s policy before you buy the email service. You may find terms saying providers will sell your essential information like name, email address, or contacts to other organizations.
It means if you are thinking about forwarding your work email to a free email account, you must check with your employer first. If you do not, you might violate the established security policy.
- The third is reliability. Your account should be accessible from any device and also accessible whenever you need it. You should get to know the provider’s terms and completely understand what their offer covers. Think about what you will do if your account disappears or your subscription ends? Will you be able to retrieve your messages?
Will the providers let you download the messages, and you can archive them onto your machine? There is a possibility that if a provider is in a different time zone, your routine gets disturbed in their server maintenance hours. Such kinds of reliability risks are often there in free email hosting.
Yahoo Data Breach
Back in 2014, a severe data breach exposed the sensitive information of almost 500 million users. The information included their birth dates, passwords, security questions, answers, phone numbers, and email addresses.
No one was sure if hackers had also accessed payment card data or any other bank information. Still, people panicked, thinking, what if such information had been compromised.
Yahoo announced in 2016 that the company started investigations in collaboration with law enforcement. So yes, the attack that happened in 2014 was detected two years later, in 2016.
How Can We Avoid The Risks If We Use Free Email Service?
It was one of the biggest breaches in the world. However, sometimes we may have no other option other than free email services. Unfortunately, everyone may not have enough financial resources to pay the expenses of email hosting UK.
However, businesses and individuals should be very cautious when putting their information online. Here are a few tricks and tips to stay safe while using free email services.
- You must keep changing your passwords and emails frequently.
- Beware of phishing emails. The legitimate emails will not ask you to click any link or open any attachment.