Nearly two years ago I wrote a three–part article about taming the most ferocious of virtual beasts: your email. Even though I know all of you fight the good fight on a daily basis, some of you are your own worst enemies, multiplying your load by maintaining more than two mailboxes (personal and work) on top of your regular social media addictions. I’m not talking about the folks whose work responsibility includes managing mailboxes for other people (but I feel for you, especially the ones that face 5-digit unread counts). If you aren’t in the fortunate position of having human help to manage your collection of mailboxes, you should really consider consolidating or outright deleting those old email accounts.
Sacrilege! Burn the witch!
Before you go all angry mob on me, here’s why you should slim up your email presence by ditching seldom-used email boxes.
Security – there are so many reasons why managing multiple mailboxes is a security nightmare, but here are 3 that should resonate with you:
- Remembering and maintaining passwords for all your mailboxes. You’re using strong passwords for all of them, right?!?
- Old email accounts are a treasure trove of identity info for data thieves. If you don’t check them often, they might even be compromised already, and may have been for months or even years.
- Every email address gets spam and malware. Multiply your risk by the number of mailboxes that receive email. Multiply by 2 for “free” email accounts that have poor or no spam filters.
Expense – each mailbox is another mouth to feed. Even the free mailboxes aren’t really free:
- What’s your time worth? If you spend 15 minutes a day managing a mailbox, you will spend nearly 8 hours a month that could be better spent elsewhere.
- If you are using your phone to check these email boxes, that data downloaded is costing you, especially the spam – it’s the digital equivalent of empty calories, but the only thing getting fat is your mobile carrier’s bank account.
- Get infected by malware from a poorly protected email account? A minor malware cleanup will cost you a minimum of $200-300 if handled by a firm like C2, and we haven’t even accounted for your lost time, productivity or sales. We won’t speak about network-wide infections – those costs can start piling up into really big numbers, even if you are insured and backed up.
Next week we talk strategies for thinning the email herd!
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net