The price of free email accounts

2 min
Tags: Email free email accounts free email data brokers advertising track Data collected tracking links

We are used to and take it for granted that we don't have to pay anything to set up an email account. Of course, this applies not only to emails, but also to other online services in general. The question that arises: How can companies that don't charge money for their services still be profitable given the high electricity and personnel costs? The answer: They are data brokers!

Companies that generate revenue through advertising track their users intensively. They have bots search users' free cloud storage for content and analyze every email activity, including frequency and size. Newsletters also use tracking links and tiny pixel images to monitor user behavior. Some companies search emails for keywords and link Google searches to other activities via cross-site cookies.

This valuable data, including email addresses, is used in marketing for targeted advertising and sold to insurance companies, data brokers and online stores, often with legal permission if there is a legitimate interest. Users often voluntarily disclose their email address, for example by "Login with Google" or "Login with Facebook".

However, cyber criminals can also use this data to send you infected emails: According to Statista, around 46% of messages received via email are spam. These are often successful, as a survey conducted in 2021 shows. According to the survey, emails are the biggest security vulnerability: Over 53% of respondents said that emails were the main problem in IT security incidents, including 31% due to phishing emails and 20% due to infected emails.

This is the hidden price you pay for supposedly free services: Your emails are screened by various companies and the data collected is sold.

In the coming weeks, we want to write you a detailed report about a data-secure email service that does not store any data, is highly encrypted and comes from Switzerland! Stay tuned and protect your data.