by Amy Chapman, Negosentro.com |
Nowadays, although email is not the most popular tool for social media interaction, it is still widely used by the majority of businesspeople. What’s more, the stats show that almost 90% of all corporate communication is done via email. This just shows how much data is constantly being moved around on a daily basis.
A free email might seem like a reasonable solution in order to save both money and time, especially for small businesses. However, this decision can quickly turn against you, as a free email address may be a larger target for a higher number of hackers.
An email address is the most public piece of personal information one has, besides his/her name. Perhaps this idea hasn’t crossed your mind yet, but sharing your email address with everybody can truly be harmful. Your email address is actually one of the ways hackers can get hold of your financial data. Therefore, many legislators started considering email addresses as sensitive personal information and adding it to the definition of PII in laws and regulations.
Risks of Using Public Emails
Free service providers such as Hotmail and Yahoo are not subjects to regulatory restrictions, security measures and archiving. Thus, owning and using a public email address on these types of servers can lead your business into a potential legal issue which could be quite costly. If you decide to store your email content on public servers, you can never be sure where your data is and which networks have been used in order to transmit it. This can seriously harm the business if, let’s say, one of your employees decides to use the public email provider for although your business doesn’t. Your company’s security policy cannot be used in that case. Some of your company’s valuable data might be in danger as you’ll have almost no legal rights if a data breach happens. In addition, there is a significant risk of IP theft as well as of violation of customer’s privacy. In other words, if your customers think it is not so safe to entrust their personal information to you, their satisfaction could significantly drop.
Build the Best Possible Protection
First of all, make sure that you own all of the associated account information. You need to retain control over the services and system used by your company in case one of your employees uses the public email address when he/she sets up an account for a service critical to your business. In the worst case scenario, you might lose access to that service is that email account gets compromised. Also, if the employee in question decides to leave the company, you have to rely on them to give you all the account details. Your business data could, in that case, become unavailable and you might lose precious time and money trying to save it. In addition, if you opt for public email addresses, you’d have to invest much more into having best possible spam filters you can find, so as to protect your business against cybercrime.
A survey done recently shows that more than two thirds of customers think that a professional and branded email address looks and sounds much better than a personal one. This is especially true for businesses that strongly pay attention to building trust and professional relationship with their customers. An email address is, thus, as important as your company’s name and a logo, as it is one of the first things people encounter when they start doing business with you. A branded email address of a good, catchy name will give an excellent impression right from the start. And that’s what each and every business should strive for.
As there are many available enterprise-ready solutions for creating a branded and professional email in today’s world, you don’t have to spend large sums on this operation. The advantages of using your own professional email address include better legal protection, less data breaches, more professional image and better protection of critical company functions.
Amy Chapman – A writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.