Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Downside of Unlimited E-mail Storage

Personal e-mail storage is mostly unlimited these days.

Back in the pre-Gmail era, most people had accounts with Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, or other major providers.  These accounts had pretty strict storage limits, so you had to either store your e-mails (and the information they contained) in a separate, "dummy" e-mail account, file them on your hard drive or an external device, or just delete them.  As a result, users would not have been able to keep very many personal photos or large .pdfs sitting around in their primary inboxes.

The advent of Gmail changed all of that.

Gmail tore the roof off in terms of storage capacity, and other commercial providers followed suit.

This is a MAJOR convenience for anyone who uses e-mail.  It means we can put sub-folder in our inbox to store e-mails that don't require immediate attention, but that we don't want to delete "just in case."

However, it completely changes the game in terms of the risks associated with an account breach.  It means there is virtually NO LIMIT on the amount of personal data or company data that could be left out in an "unauthorized access" event.  The FBI would be interested in a potential breach of the CIA Director's e-mail anyway, but the era of unlimited commercial storage accessible from anywhere just raises the degree of *care* that many notches higher.  

2 comments:

C R Krieger said...

Speaking of which, do you see any value in the "ten minute" EMail address system?

Oh, and yes, I do think the Petraeus Imbroglio will get messier before it gets cleaned up.

Regards  —  Cliff

Maricar Gomez said...

This is great information about email storage, but the important one is that the security and reliability..

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