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internetting for the paranoid - email

You may want to check out F--K THE CLOUD. It's worth the read. It basically states that if you put your trust and faith into anything you store on a freebie internet service, you're an idiot. Email examples of this are Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, GMX and so on.

To date I have lost email three times. Two of them were major, one minor. The first time (circa late 1990s) I accidentally deleted several years worth of email but that was totally my fault because I didn't know how to backup mail properly at the time. The second time (early 2000s) was with Hotmail where my entire account got wiped. The third time (about a year ago) was with Gmail where it would randomly lose emails for no apparent reason.

At times I really want to switch back to web-based mail because the convenience is a very addicting quality. And the fact you can store gigs of emails and supposedly not worry about it is another sell.

However there are two things that keep me on POP.

First, your mail is periodically scanned for targeted advertising with the freebie mail providers. I don't like this because that means it's being read. Maybe not by a human, but it is being read regardless. And what if some of your email content has "red flag" words and/or phrases in it? Does that mean your mail is monitored and will be read by other people you'll never meet? Quite possibly. Will you ever be made aware of this should it occur? Most likely never.

Second, there is absolutely no guarantee your mail will be there tomorrow. Free email accounts are at best an experiment in marketing. And if the provider feels it's not paying the bills, they will drop the service. Never at any time does the provider have to notify you of this.

The freebie provider can put all the "promises" and notes it wants into its terms of service agreement, but the reality is that's all nothing but red tape. Your freebie account like the millions of others is cannon fodder.

And let's not forget that when you need help when something goes wrong (and it will), there's none to be found. Whom do you have to turn to when mail is lost or vanishes? Nobody. That is unless you like cold canned corporate responses that in effect say, "Our service isn't guaranteed and never will be, you idiot."

The cloud is sexy. It says, "Use me! I'm free, I'm cool and you'll have absolutely nothing to worry about."

Bull. I know better.

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