Work and personal email addresses (updated)

I was in church this morning and watched the class teacher login to a personal website to access content using a work email address. So with that, the occasion for this post: should I use my work or personal email address when signing up for an website or other online service account? Let’s talk about this.

An email address is as important as a mobile phone number or home address. I talked previously about the importance of being organized with your online accounts, passwords and security questions. Use of your email address is no different.

Why is using your corporate email address bad?

Corporate email addresses are owned and controlled by your employer. The life of that email addresses continues only as long as your employment does. Unlike a postal mailing address, you are less likely to have your e-mail forwarded from your old corporate email address to your new one.

Corporate email has no right of privacy. Depending on the type of business and legal regulation, your personal email correspondence is likely to be archived for many years and may be subject to legal proceedings that could result in your personal information ending up in a legal discovery process.

Why is using a free email address not ideal either?

Free email addresses like Google Mail or Yahoo are great but “free” services come at a price and our privacy is the currency. We can talk about that another time. The big issue with free services is lack of control. My wife has had a Yahoo email address for most of our marriage. While it once seemed unimaginable to have a world without Yahoo in it, Yahoo could be one more data breach away from being out of business.  There stakeholders might decide one day that its such a damaged brand that it’s no longer an attractive service.  If Yahoo went away tomorrow, there’s nothing that anyone could do to retain there email address identity.

What are my email alternatives?

Own your own domain name and host your email service on a paid plan.  There are some fairly inexpensive service plans available that enable you to take control of your own email address and domain name to ensure that you are in the best position possible to manage your own email security and privacy while retaining control over your digital identity for the long term.

Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

Want to know more?  Comment below and let’s have a discussion.    

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