Is it wise to use a free email service?

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Should I use a free account for my business email?

Posted on 27 September 2019 by Beaming Support

Should I use a free account for my business email?

When a well known provider of free email accounts suffered a worldwide outage, many users took to social media to express their annoyance. Unsurprisingly, those using their email for business purposes were most concerned about being unable to read and reply to messages.

Is it wise to use a free service such as Yahoo, Gmail or Live to access your emails?

This outage highlights just one good reason why we’d advise business customers to steer clear of free to create and host email addresses. If unplanned downtime for your inbox isn’t enough to dissuade you from using a free email address, here are 5 more reasons.

  1. Your email address is the first point of contact for many of your customers and needs to look professional. Which business would you trust more, the one with a freebie email address such as mybusiness@gmail.com or the one with a domain of their own eg myname@mybusiness.com?
  2. Data breaches. The same provider of free email accounts affected by the outage mentioned above reported two data breaches in 2016, which actually referred to hacks taking place in 2013 and 2014. Whilst a free account hosted by your provider may seem convenient, a breach such as this could put your entire business at risk. Do you know what your provider is doing to keep your data secure?
  3. Where is your email data held? When you take up a free service you’ll have no choice over where the data contained in your email account will be hosted, which could be a potential problem if your business is subject to data protection laws such as the GDPR.
  4. Lack of control in an outage. We touched on this subject already, but if your free email provider were to suffer downtime, how long would it to take to get your email back up and running? You’re at the mercy of the provider’s technicians to get it back online.
  5. Scaling up. There may just be a couple of people checking your email now, but what about when your business is doing well and you take on more staff who need their own email addresses?

How can I set up a professional email address?

It’s not going to be completely free of charge, but setting up a professional looking business email address doesn’t need to be expensive and is well worth the investment.

The first step is to register your domain name ie the “@mybusiness.com” part of your address. If you already have a business website you will have already done this.

Now that you’ve got your domain name, you’ll need to host your emails. Third party email providers such as Office 365 can be great for small businesses, just make sure you do your due diligence before signing up. Larger businesses may like to consider a dedicated on premise mail server, or one that’s hosted in a data centre of your choosing.

Security guidance

Although your email hosting company should provide security such as message encryption and anti-spam measures, it’s always important to make sure staff are up to date on how to recognise and deal with scam or phishing emails.

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