One of the best things about email is, that its FREE! Another great thing is that you can have as many email accounts as you want! I could go on, and on, listing all the great things about email.
One of the ugly sides of email is that it is a medium for all the idiots in the world, to plague you with un-solicited junk mail - SPAM! Another downside to email is, that you have to be careful to whom you give your email address, or take the risk that it will end up in the computer of a SPAMMER.
These can be everyday concerns, I suppose, but they don't need to be. You should be able to access the Internet, blog your heart out, subscribe to sites, and contact friends, without the possibility of infection from, let's just say, 'other sources'.
Although its source is doubtful, and has been largely attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, or, the Hebrew's Book of Proverbs, the maxim Scientia potentia est is pertinent to this discussion. The Latin text translates as, Knowledge is power, and perhaps, sums up the theme of this post, succinctly.
Who has the power, the control, of your email account? Do you? Hopefully, YES!
What is the power, the control, over an email account? I believe it is the ability to dictate:
- how it is used,
- where it is used,
- for what purpose it is used, and, most importantly,
- by whom it is used!
I recently wrote on a subject which is dear to my heart - Email Fetching. In that post, I surmised that maybe you might have had -
"... a preferred personal email account, perhaps with Google Gmail, and like NOT to advertise it publicly, or on the web, or through emailing other people, you may set up another email account for this purpose, and 'pull', fetch, or 're-direct' mail from that account, or service, to your personal email account - all without divulging its address to anyone else. Therefore, protecting your personal email account address."
For example, let's say you have a personal email account - email@example.com - and you don't want it known. You ONLY use it for emails to your family and very personal friends. That's fine. Keep it that way. All you have to do is hope that your family and friends don't have their email accounts compromised! Or, compromise your email address by some means! Remember what Benjamin Franklin said;
"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead!"
Now, what happens if you wish to start a blog? Maybe, subscribe, by email, to Beautiful Babes from Bali? (Sorry about my poor imagination). You don't want to use your personal (Primary) account, do you? So, the only answer is to set-up another email account. Easy as. You don't have to use your Real Name, either.
You don't want to have to log-in to the 'new' email account to check mail that's arrived, or to see what's what. So, you 'fetch' mail from it, to firstname.lastname@example.org. What benefits does that give you?
- Genuine emails (only) will be forwarded to email@example.com
- Any SPAM email can be Filtered out. Takes a while, but is easy to do
- Your Primary Email Account is not compromised
- No-one can find out your Primary Email Account details. All they get is the 'New Account' details
- No-one can associate the New Email Account with firstname.lastname@example.org
- You use the 'New Account' for everything you want to
- If it becomes compromised - delete it!
- ...and many more
There's far too many ways to divulge information, these days. nearly every site you want to subscribe to gets your email details. Yeah, they say that the info is protected, but is it? Really?
How many of your contacts know what the Bcc is? What its security benefits are? How many have even heard of it?
I have many emails at my disposal (over 200). I don't use my extra-special, 100% personal email account for anything. It's mine. I can admire it, and think how lucky I am. Then I also wonder what medication I forgot to take! But, the point of this post is, be careful what you subscribe to with your email. Careful where you use it, or give it out to. Your choice.
That's my opinion, though.