Privacy and Security in the Email Cloud

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ADOTAS – We all know that sticking all of our business info out onto the internet comes with a number of security risks, and that these risks are still a major inhibitor when it comes to loading and managing data on the internet.

Although cloud-based services afford us maximum flexibility and ease of access to the information that we want and need on a daily basis, that same ease of access and flexibility has also increased our vulnerability. Security breaches are a growing problem at the heart of the internet. Keeping your information safe is a highly specialized field, but most businesses unfortunately put it near the bottom of their list of priorities. This is why hacking groups are frequently able to break into easily compromised sites using simple techniques, directly attacking penetrable servers.

Some say that cloud technologies are just not mature enough yet. Others say that this opinion is fairly ignorant: Cloud-based mail storage facilities have been in existence for half the life of the internet. Amazon Web Services, for example, have been around for well over six years now.

In general, these services have proved to be robust, and security incidents are not commonplace. Other cloud services, such as online accounting facilities and virtual desktop services, are less mature, but despite perceptions to the contrary, they have demonstrated a level of security that is general quite good.

For legitimate email marketing services, the safety of customer data is undoubtedly one of the most important security aspects. Often, though, potential subscribers are still reluctant to sign up for email campaigns due to their personal privacy and data security concerns.

Unfortunately, any system can basically be hacked in some way. An important consideration is how valuable the actual information in the system is. For example, you won’t find hackers trying to steal cooking recipes from a website. But they will spend some time on your website if you store credit card information.

ESPs are acutely aware of the fact that some of their customers’ data is very important to them, and while these services do whatever they can to protect that data, they don’t consider themselves to be at such a high risk for hacking as an institution that stores banking information, for example.

With that said, email service providers generally do endeavor to remove as much of the risk as possible by being in their own private environment and conducting network audits every few months, to make sure their security is in order. As an email marketer, it is important to inform and reassure anyone interested in signing up for your campaign that their data is safe. Consider the following practics:

Include a link to your security policy in your sign-up form and in the footer of every email.
In your initial communication emails to new subscribers, make a point of telling them that that you won’t be sharing or selling their info to any third parties and that their privacy is of paramount importance to your company.

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