Manage Email Addresses
When it comes to small businesses and non-profits, we see a lot of intermingling of professional and personal email on “corporate” accounts. It’s up to individuals to keep them separate and use an email service that best protects their security.
Tying activity to work emails is generally a combination of convenience and blurring work and non-work hours. If we’re working during off hours, the work email address is the one we see and check most of the time. Sometimes, we might inadvertently use our work email to send a personal message, and if somebody replies to it, the message stays in that email address.
Unfortunately, many people can overlook the fact that their work email address is the property of the business or non-profit organization. While you’re with the organization, owners and managers have a lot of latitude about what they can access. When you leave the organization, the account owner has no responsibility to forward personal messages or extend your access. Nor do they have any responsibility to close that address. In fact, it may be to their advantage to keep it open for business continuation reasons or to catch suspected fraud on the part of a departed employee.
Assuming everyone in a business is on the up-and-up, keeping your email addresses separate still makes sense. And if you leave a business, it’s important for you to clear all personal messages from your mailbox before you leave. Besides deleting them, you should make sure you forward emails you need to keep to your new email address, which brings us to some key considerations.
You should choose a new email provider who is committed to servicing email. Strange as this may sound, providers who were major email players are no longer in business or have long sold their business to other providers.
For example, AOL and Yahoo ruled the email world. As their business models changed to emphasize media services, they were acquired by Verizon, which is primarily a telecommunications giant that wanted to get into media services. When Verizon decided to get out of the media business, they sold AOL and Yahoo – and their email services – to Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm that renamed the company Yahoo. The company has been growing by acquiring internet commercial services and media companies. However, private equity firms are focused on profitability, and getting email support is now a $30-per-year service. For complex problems, you can’t just pick up the phone and talk to somebody.
Internet providers like Xfinity and AT&T still provide email addresses and tech support, but we never know how long they’ll hold onto this business model. We’ve already seen how streaming has affected their cable TV operations. Getting a human being to help you with complex issues can be frustrating, but once you reach somebody, you almost always solve your problem.
Google and Microsoft are in the email business for the long haul, and you can rely on them to maintain technical support, especially for security patches and bug fixes. It’s part of their support for large corporate and government technology services. Through Gmail and Outlook, they operate worldwide to give you good coverage. Don’t even think about trying to call somebody there for tech support, but the good news is that they have good tools for IT experts to use to solve users’ problems.
We can help you decide on a new email provider that meets your needs and help you configure the service if you have special requirements. Just call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to explore your options and help you customize your service.