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— 2 min read

What is the cost of a free email service?

Spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages globally per day. This represent 73% of ALL emails sent globally on a daily basis.

Like you I HATE receiving spam emails, they just fill up my inbox with useless (yet scarily targeted) content that I don’t read. For those of you that don’t know what spam email is, it’s a form of mass commercial advertising which is economically viable because email is a very cost effective medium for the sender.

The line between spam and online advertising is becoming blurred. Large email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc. can access the information you send/receive to and from your account. In essence you receive a “free” email service from the provider but what you don’t realise is that in return they want your private information so they can target adverts directly to you and your account. These ads are really just paid for spam.

The Radicati Research Group Inc, who are a research firm based in the USA, recently conducted global research into spam emailing. Their findings are quite eye opening to say the least, below we list the 5 most startling findings from their research:

  • Spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages globally per day. This represent 73% of ALL emails sent globally on a daily basis.
  • IP’s from the USA send the most spam emails, accounting for 16% of the annual spam mails in 2015.
  • Spam costs businesses €18 billion annually in decreased productivity as well as in technical expenses.
  • It is estimated that 58 billion junk emails will be sent every day within the next four years, a figure that will cost businesses some €200 billion annually.
  • 62% of online users had lost confidence in communicating through email due to spam.

I was always told throughout life that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”, in other words you rarely, if ever, get anything for free in life. Especially in the case of digital services such as email providers, if it’s free then they are definitely getting something in return and it’s usually your personal information.

I needed spam out of my life so I decided to switch from my “free” email provider to a paid Topmail account. I am delighted to say that my email account is now 100% spam and advert free. No longer do I have to waste my time digging through endless amounts of nonsense to get to my important emails. If you, like me, hate spam then my advice would be to give up on the “free” services and consider a provider which secures your personal information rather than targets it.