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Privacy

5 reasons to ditch data-hungry Gmail for a privacy-focused email service

“There are no free rides.” You’ve probably heard some version of this saying. You may think you are getting something for nothing when you don’t lay down any money, but the cost can be greater than what’s in your wallet.

When you sign up for a free email service, you are giving away valuable information about yourself. Your purchases, browsing activities, reservations, subscriptions and even your personal messages are vulnerable. This data can be collected to target you with ads or sold to other companies. Tap or click here to see how the biggest email services are targeting you.

Gmail is one of the largest email providers out there. It has a user-friendly interface and widespread usage makes for an easy choice. And it’s free, of course. So what’s the catch? A lot, actually, especially when it comes to your privacy. There are many alternatives to Gmail, and we’ll tell you about one that puts privacy and security ahead of all else.

What’s the alternative?

If you’re thinking of leaving Gmail, we recommend trying our sponsor StartMail. Let’s go over some of the key reasons why it’s time to make the switch and finally take back some of your privacy.

1. Get a huge increase in privacy

Google uses Gmail to monitor your payment methods, purchases, reservations, web activity, location history and even what you watch on YouTube. You can opt out of some of these trackers, but think of how much information Google already has on you.

Google can access your personal messages, and no matter what you do, you will still see targeted ads in your inbox.

StartMail doesn’t collect or share data with anyone else. Your activities are not tracked or recorded. StartMail vows never to read your email messages. Want to remain anonymous? You can create as many aliases as you want and use those email addresses however you see fit.

2. Encryption leaves hackers out in the cold

Gmail uses Transport Layer Security encryption, which only works if the message’s recipient is using a service that supports TLS, including Gmail. But even if two Gmail users exchange messages, encryption doesn’t stop Google from snooping on your emails. You can see evidence of this with suggested replies in messages themselves.

StartMail uses TLS protocol in addition to Password Protected Messages. You can send PPM emails to anyone, even if they’re not using encryption. Just click on the Encrypt button when composing a message.

Your StartMail inbox and folders are also encrypted and stored in their own “vault.” Nobody but you can access these files.

RELATED: You’ll be shocked by how much you’re giving away for a free email account

3. You won’t miss out on familiar features

Like Gmail, StartMail can be accessed online with any device. It is compatible with Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple Mail. You can create multiple custom domains for business or personal use.

StartMail has the usual bells and whistles, including search, font styles, image embedding, spell checker, keyboard shortcuts and signatures. And with StartMail, there are no downloads or installations to worry about.

4. How much is your privacy worth?

StartMail’s $59.95 annual subscription includes 10 GB of storage space, which is plenty. You can view your storage usage at any time by going to Settings > Current storage. There is currently no option to buy more storage.

5. Breaking up isn’t hard to do

Moving to a new email address is easier than you may think. Here are some tips for a smooth move:

  • Update your information for the sites you use most. Use your browser’s saved logins to make this step easier.
  • Let your contacts know you’re moving. Use your address book or contact list to send the alert to large groups.
  • Use IMAP and an email client to move all your messages from Gmail to your new StartMail account. Tap or click here for detailed instructions.

Are you ready for a change? Go to startmail.com/kim for a free 7-day trial. If you like what you see, get 50% off your first year of StartMail.

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