I often ask this question…is email really free? I once had a boss who told me “NOTHING is free”. At the time, I thought him to be a little negative but fast forward 25 years and I hate to admit it, but he was right! Do you ever wonder why Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Excite, etc. are all free email accounts? Well, I can tell you…they are free monetarily, but not free when it comes to your privacy. On the internet, information and data are King.

Is Email Really Free?

No. Your email is used to obtain all types of information about you. It can track your purchases, trips, inquiries, bills, messages, etc. Free email accounts also send targeted emails to your inbox. Did you ever wonder how those got there? No, it is not a coincidence! If you have a Gmail account, you can log into it and look up your privacy setting. You can also do something called “takeouts” which will give you information on everything you have done in the Google Suite. You can see what you searched for, what websites you went to, what reservations you make and more.

Yahoo shares your keywords in order to enhance the advertisements that are sent to you. They even track your packages, history and location. Outlook, another free email service that has its hands on your data and is constantly trying to send you targeted ads that you may or may not want.

Review Your Privacy Settings

With Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook, it would not be a bad idea to take a look at the privacy settings on your accounts. You may be able to limit some of the things they can view and use. If you want to investigate deeper, you can download the Microsoft Diagnostic Data Viewer. This let’s you know what information you are sending to Microsoft.

There is a ton of information out there about you that you may not even know about. Google yourself and see what comes up. Check they privacy settings on all your apps and be very careful about what information you are putting out there.