SHCC WYSIWYG Article from March 2021

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the March 2021 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Email Services

by Don VanSyckel

In keeping with the privacy and security themes of the past couple of months, I'd like to mention that for those of you who use Gmail, all your emails are scanned by Google to harvest information about you. Also these emails are archived. I have not seen any definite data about how long the archives are held but but reports are that it's for a long time. It's not known what all Google does with your information that's harvested but it's generally agreed one of the uses is for advertising. You might not care but someone profiting on me simply rubs me the wrong way. I suggest people move off Gmail to another email platform. Granted this might take a bit of effort to set up another email account and then one by one change your email address in the various accounts and other locations that have the Gmail address.

Changing your email host can be a little daunting. Most of us have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that offers free email. Usually several different email addresses can be set up with your ISP. This email can either be downloaded by an email client on your PC such as Outlook and Thunderbird or accessed via a web browser at the ISP's web site. The big downside of using email at your ISP is if you change ISP you lose your current email address and you need to plan on overlap between old and new. Side note: I get around this by owning my own domain and having GoDaddy, who houses my domain, redirect email to my email at my ISP. If I move I simply change where GoDaddy redirects my email to.

There are various free email services and I'm not attempting to list them here. Check out any service before signing up. You don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak. A club member suggested Proton Mail ( ) which is based in Switzerland. We've all heard of Swiss bankers and the privacy they're known for. It's suppose to care over to this email service. Again do your homework. Remember any free service has to pay the bills somehow, the question is how much privacy do you give up to pay for free service.

There are also email services that charge a fee. These for the most part don't spy on you to make money.

OK, you've investigated email services, signed up for a new service, and visited all the sites that have you email address and changed the old to the new. You've waited a month or two and no new emails have been received by your Gmail account, now what do you do? You close down the Gmail account. This sound like a one click process but it isn't.

I read an article on c|net by Jason Cipriani in which he details the steps to first backup the data you have in the Gmail account and then to delete that account. Mr. Cipriani talks about Google's Takeout service which can be used to download all the data linked to your Google account. Then he goes on to describe how to delete the Gmail account. Like with other web sites that have to make a feature available to you that they don't want you to use, the process is not right out in the open with a big button "Press Here To Delete Account".

If you find a good email service, let me know. I'd be interested to check it out. Likewise, if you go through the entire process. I'd like to hear your experience.

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