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How to Safely Use Free Email Accounts

Arthur Dellea is a freelance PC expert who enjoys adventures with his wife and children, playing drums at church, and investigative writing.

You may have to sacrifice some of your privacy with a free email account.

You may have to sacrifice some of your privacy with a free email account.

Free Email Services for All

Email accounts from many service providers, including Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, are free. You may normally access your email using a web browser with these email services. In addition to the financial savings, these services frequently provide competitive features and other advantages. Since there are so many service providers vying for customers, they now supply extras like tons of storage, spam filtering, virus protection, and improved fonts and visuals in order to draw clients.

Free email services are helpful if you cannot be near your computer or are moving and do not have an ISP because you can access your account(s) from any computer. If you are using a public computer or a shared wireless hotspot and are concerned about disclosing the data of your primary account, having access to a free email account is great even if you can access your ISP-based email account remotely.

You can also lessen the quantity of spam you receive at your main email address by using free email accounts. You can create a free secondary address to use in place of providing your primary address when making online purchases, making service requests, or posting on Craigslist.

Free Means Increased Risk

Free email services provide a lot of advantages, but you shouldn't send important information over them. Because you are not paying for the account, the company might not be as dedicated to providing you with the greatest service or safeguarding you from risks. For example, if you provide your login information, password, or communications in plain text, they could potentially be intercepted. You ought to utilize SSL encryption if a service provider supports it. If this is offered, you can check by looking for "secure mode" or by changing the "http:" in the URL to "https:".

Although you don't pay for your email account, the service provider must find a means to recoup some of its costs, so you may have to sacrifice some of your privacy. Selling advertising space is one way to make money, but selling or trading information is another. To find out whether your name, email address, address book email addresses, or any other information in your profile may be shared with other businesses, be sure to read the service provider's privacy policy or terms of use. Consult with your company first if you're thinking of forwarding your work email to a free email address. Any established security procedures should be followed.

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Even though you can access your account from any computer, you still need to make sure that it will be reliable and accessible when you need it. Read the terms of service carefully so that you are aware of everything the service provider has promised to offer you. For instance, can you get your communications back if the service is discontinued or your account is deleted? Can you download communications from the service provider to your computer so you can archive them? Additionally, if you're in a different time zone than the provider, you might discover that their server maintenance disrupts your usual email schedule.

The Advantages of a Paid Gmail Account

Your email is securely saved in the cloud when you use Gmail. Any computer or device with a web browser can access messages. You can join or start a video meeting in Google Meet directly from Gmail (if your administrator permits). Get all the benefits of Chat directly in Gmail by adding Google Chat to your inbox. Without an internet connection, you can read and draft email, as well as swiftly organize and find critical messages.

I had been using Gmail accounts for free for many years, for personal as well as business use. I finally decided to start paying for my accounts in order to benefit from the extra storage and better technical support. Another advantage of paying for an email account over using one for free is that the higher-level support can come in handy if your account is hacked or compromised in any way. Email service providers will tell you that you're pretty much on your own if your free email account gets hacked.

After having used both free and paid email accounts from ISPs and third party services, I have found that Gmail has never, ever given me any problems or issues where up-time availability is concerned. I have experienced near-100% up-time with Gmail, whereas I used other email providers that had extended outages from time to time, including email accounts that were provided by previous web hosting providers. Neither privacy nor security have ever been an issue for me with Gmail.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Arthur Dellea

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