Privacy is Hard: Email What if you're looking for private email services that don't parse the information in your inbox to generate advertisements (or other similar functionality)?

A few weeks ago, I started writing about a couple of things related to privacy on the web (which is a topic that I think many of us think about in some capacity).

You can catch up on everything I’ve written about thus far, but this post is going to follow-up with something I mentioned in the previous post.

Specifically, I mentioned a simple alternative for not giving out your email address.

Although Burner Mail works well, I also think it’s worth using third-party services for your standard email, too. After all, it’s worth having your privacy protected there, too, right?

BurnerMail (and services like Throttle) are great for providing temporary email addresses with which you can still access those messages for some time.

Email Privacy: BurnerMail

But what if you’re looking for an actual email service that respects privacy and, say, doesn’t parse the information in your inbox to generate advertisements (or other similar functionality)?

Private Email Services

In a prior post, I discussed the importance of keeping your domains, email, and hosting separate. The whole point of that post was to mitigate downtime whenever you’re transferring or modifying services.

But I did mention one service in particular that I like: Pobox. The thing about Pobox is that I use it as a way to:

  • manage email for my domain,
  • add an extra layer of protection against spam,
  • and keep it separate from my web host, so I don’t lose communication if I happen to transfer services.

Pobox, though, is part of another company, FastMail, that offers what many of us are looking for in an email service.

Email Privacy: FastMail

And part of their entire value proposition is this:

As a paid service, we only serve you, our customer. This means we have no split loyalties, no mining of your personal data, no sharing it with third parties, and no ads, ever.

I say all of this with two important points, too:

  1. I’ve yet to migrate all of my emails away from my current provider namely because I have stored emails for well over a decade. And it’s a transition that I don’t take likely both from data and from the pricing.
  2. This is not sponsored endorsement of any particular service. This is but one that I seem to find discussed a lot on forums and with people who are privacy-focused.

The idea of moving to a more private web is a daunting task, but this is why I think discussing and covering each aspect of it is important.

It takes time and thought to move away properly from a larger, less privacy-focused organization to a smaller one especially when you’ve invested, quite literally, years of information of your life into a small set of a few of them.

But email is one that I think is of critical importance. More so than, say, what web browser you choose to use.

And I say this because email is so often how we communicate with so many organizations about so many types of information that make sure we’re handling it properly should be done with care.

Services Mentioned