For the last 13 years, I’ve been using .edu email addresses. I like running a desktop email client, and although GMail now offers IMAP service, I’ve been trying to minimize my Google exposure. Universities seemed like an innocuous party with whom to trust my private communications.
Now that I’m likely done being a student, I’m thinking more seriously about what my grown-up email setup should look like. In particular, as I’ve written more about privacy law, I’ve become more acutely aware of the poor privacy protections American law affords to email. This is a particular concern given that I’m now working as a reporter. I try to avoid doing stories where revealing my sources could cause serious harms, but I think I still have an obligation to take reasonable precautions to secure my email.
So I have a question for readers: who do you rely on for email service? I know enough about mail server administration to know I shouldn’t try to run a mail server myself. And I’d rather not entrust my email to Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft. I’d be willing to pay $10-20/month for an email service that credibly promises high levels of reliability and confidentiality (though I’m not sure how I’d verify that the confidentiality promises were credible).
I’m also open to arguments that I’m being silly and should just join the GMail parade with the rest of the tech-savvy world.