A recent article on The Verge uncovered an apparently not-too-secret practice that affects users of ‘free’ email services: third-party developers can, and DO, read your email.

This really should not be terribly shocking to people: Google was reading users’ emails for years, gleaning information to ‘better provide services’ while, at the same time, gathering data to better target ads to those users. Of course, back in 2014 Google said they’d STOP doing that for users who were students, businesses or governments. It appears that change of strategy didn’t apply to third-party developers.

Privacy of data and information is crucial these days. As free social networks and other free services become more and more popular, and garner more and more users, the developers of these free services have to find ways to make money off them. The old adage ‘there’s no such thing as a free ride’ was never more apparent than in the internet age: companies have to prove their worth if they want to garner funding, either via Venture Capital or acquisition. Sure, ‘customer count’ has a value, but as funding becomes more and more difficult to obtain, revenue is going to be a key driver that’s necessary for business owners. An ‘easy’ way to acquire revenue is by selling your most valuable commodity: user data.

And that’s a huge problem for businesses. Think of the communications you have every day. You email clients, sending quotes or other business-related information; you email business partners discussing upcoming sales or marketing goals; you email family members, setting dates for vacations or family get-togethers. The point is, you share a LOT of information with people that is ONLY intended for those people. If you’re in finance or healthcare, there are regulations and compliance issues you need to take into consideration. If a third-party is reading your email, even if it’s simply for providing you with ‘better service’, that’s a HUGE issue.

Having your own mail server ensures there’s no way for third parties to read your correspondence, you have better control over how your email is handled, stored and archived, you have control over the other software — if any — that runs alongside your email software, and you also have control over the hardware. Alternatively, you can partner with someone who can help set up these systems for you.

At ParksideTech, we’re email experts. We’re also compliance and security experts. We can certainly help by assessing your current environment and then provide a secure, reliable and PRIVATE email solution. If you’re interested, give us a call today and get started.