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Using a Free Email Service Can Be Dangerous to Your Business

Gmail - A Free Email Service
Gmail - A Free Email Service

Free email services like Google and Yahoo may seem great at first, but the bad outweighs the good when it comes to professional use. The two biggest concerns when using these services are professionalism and security.

 

Professionalism

When communicating with clients or partners, you want to present your company as professionally and reliable as possible. Today, it's very common that business owners already have a website. If you have a website, you can use your domain for your email as well. Not using a domain-specific to your company makes you appear less established, less trustworthy, and even lazy. 

For example, here at First Reliance Bank, we use our website domain name, firstreliance.com, in the email addresses to communicate with our customers and partners. Image your reaction if we sent you an eStatement or loan documents from FirstReliance@gmail.com. This would not be professional or trustworthy for us to do.

Furthermore, using a free service could suggest to others that your business isn’t doing well enough for you to afford a domain name. Another negative aspect is that you’re promoting Gmail when you send messages through their service, not your own company. You should take advantage of every marketing opportunity you can, which includes using your domain for email.

 

Security

Because services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail are free, there are more vulnerabilities regarding security and privacy. If it is free to you, it is free to spammers too. These accounts are easily hacked and imitated. People trying to deceive your clients or partners could create a similar-looking email and impersonate you or your business without much effort. 

 

We have seen many times where businesses had their email hacked and money was requested, and sometimes sent to the perpetrator. Avoid this type of situation and protect your business by using your domain for email. 

Additionally, not as much tech support comes along with these services. Big companies like Google or Yahoo won’t wait by the phone to answer millions of tech support calls, but hosting companies typically offer round-the-clock support. All of these concerns contribute to appearing unprofessional or unreliable.

 

Take Actions

If you don't already have a domain name for your business, it might not cost as much as you think to get started. 

At the time of writing, a domain name through GoDaddy with the option to add Microsoft Office 365, is only $72 a year. You can purchase the domain name for your business and set up an email address in no time. 

If you already have a domain name and website for your business but are not using email, contact your web administrator or your hosting service and ask them about setting one up today. 

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