It’s hard to imagine that any business would dream of operating without business email. Despite the rise of messaging apps like Slack and Teams, email is still the main way that companies communicate internally, externally, and with customers.
Email is one of the most critical cloud services that companies use and it’s something that every employee will typically have. If it’s not working for any reason, we feel cut off from the world. It can also mean missing important sales opportunities.
You would think that email costs a fortune with how important it is. But so many companies give it away for free. Google Comcast, Yahoo, and others give you email accounts for just a few seconds of your time to sign up.
However, while that Gmail or Comcast email account may not be costing you a signup fee, it’s costing your business much more. It can actually be putting your company in danger.
We get it. You’re trying to grow your small business and working to cut costs. So, you may use a free Gmail account to save money. But those free accounts often lack important security measures, leaving you at major risk of a breach.
The average cost of a data breach for a small business is $108,000. Add on top of that the loss of reputation and potential future sales, and the cost gets even higher. And… what’s the number one method of cyberattack? Email.
Here’s what’s wrong with using a free account for your business email addresses:
The spam filtering is very basic on free email accounts. You also may not have phishing protection or any type of anti-malware or antivirus. This leaves your company very vulnerable to getting hacked through a phishing attack.
Phishing emails have become more sophisticated over the years, and they’re much harder to spot than they used to be. They’ll often look exactly like legitimate emails, bearing the copied logo of a brand like Amazon or UPS.
The AI and additional security that you can put in place with a paid email account reduce the risk that one of those shady attacks will get through and fool you or an employee.
When you have email on your own company domain, you have control over all the messages to any mailbox. But when you allow staff to use Gmail, Comcast, or some other free account, you could end up losing valuable customer communications.
Should there be a falling out and a staff member quit, it can cost you important messages and attachments. Further, if the ex-employee was unhappy with your company, they could keep using the account to poach customers away from you.
Google isn’t exactly known for respecting privacy. It will often use data from user emails to serve up targeted advertising. When you’re not paying for a cloud service, it means that you are the product – or rather your data is.
If you’re not paying attention to provider privacy policies (which hardly anyone reads) you could end up exposing customer communications and business data without realizing it.
Companies providing free services use your data to sell to advertisers. They may also target your inbox with ads based on the contents of your conversations. This isn’t only creepy, it’s a recipe for a privacy and compliance nightmare.
One danger to your company is the inability to do business due to a technology problem. If your free email provider goes down, you don’t have much recourse. You’re not paying them anything for the service, after all.
It’s hard to demand things when you’re using a freebie. You could end up losing access to your business email for hours due to an outage and there is nothing you can do about it except wait.
When you have your own paid email on your business domain, you have control over the environment. So, if email goes out, you’re not left sitting on your hands, you can spring into action to have the issue corrected.
A whopping 75% of surveyed consumers say that having a professional email address is an important trust indicator for a business. If you’re using Yahoo, Gmail, Comcast, or another free account, potential customers wonder why.
It looks unprofessional for a business to use a generic free address rather than one that matches its website domain. With trust being such a big factor in sales, this one detail can be costing you quite a few lead conversions because people are unsure you can deliver.
Digital Crisis can get you set up with secure and branded business email at your Houston area company. Why put your company at risk when it’s inexpensive and easy to upgrade to better business email?
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 713-965-7200 or reach us online.