Why Yahoo, AOL & Gmail Can Make Your Law Firm A Sitting Duck for Cybercrime 

Don’t want to be bothered with setting up your own domain and email server for your business?  You might want to think that through again.  

Like most business owners, you rely on email as a prime means of communication for your firm and protecting the correspondence and the information that you share with your team, outside vendors, and your clients is critical.

Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and other FREE accounts might seem economical at first, but free POP and IMAP accounts are anything but free when you hit a snag, delete an important email, or fall victim to a widespread hack. 

In addition to some of the security advantages of having your own domain, there is a huge difference in support and perception.  After all, who are you going to call over at Yahoo when you can’t find that important email?  In regard to perception, there is a rookie stigma associated with having an email extension that 3 billion other people have.  You must admit that there is a huge difference when telling a client to reach you bigshot@bigshotcompany.com versus bigshot@aol.com.  One says, you are an established business owner, and the other one…well, that you might be a bit new at this. 

Finally, your name is YOUR brand and if you ever decide to sell your business, your domain can be a valuable business financial asset.  

But there are other more technical differences between having your own domain (and a Microsoft Exchange) account versus having a free POP3 or IMAP account.  There is one similarity…all are methods by which you use your computer to access email from a remote server.  

POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3) works this way.  When an e-mail is sent to your address, it is stored on the mail server until it is downloaded and at that time it is immediately removed from the server.  This means that if you check your email on your mobile phone, any of the mail that is delivered to your phone will only appear on your phone.  If you went back to your office and checked your desktop you would have no record of that same email since it already was downloaded from the server to the first location, your mobile phone.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a bit more advanced protocol for receiving e-mail. The biggest plus IMAP over POP3 is that it has the ability access the email from multiple devices and it can keep a copy of the email on the server.  It also will mark any opened email as “read” and will show this same status on each device you use to access your mail.  Your email is stored on a mail server and somewhat safer and should be backed up by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) …should be…this is why firms that really want to know they are protected don’t leave back up to chance and instead choose Microsoft Exchange.

Microsoft Exchange uses protocols developed by Microsoft.  It gives you everything that IMAP does, but then it also enables you to streamline efficiencies and protect your data with a commercial/business grade product.  In this way, Microsoft Exchange is really important for firms that rely on collaborating and sharing information.  It offers the all the same convenient email syncing function as IMAP, but it also gives you the power to sync tasks, contacts and calendars with co-workers, and view them from any device. This makes Microsoft Exchange an ideal solution for organizations that depend heavily on collaboration and often work remotely and gives the added plus that allows you to see sent mail on multiple devices. 

When you use Microsoft Exchange, every individual user has a separate mailbox on the server and all messages, contacts, and calendar info are stored in that mailbox.  Having your firm on Microsoft Exchange will easily allow you to cross check calendars, making meeting planning and file sharing a breeze whether you are across the office or across the country. What’s more, when you graduate to the big leagues and have a Microsoft Exchange server, you will most likely also have a dedicated team that is helping you manage your IT, and THAT is always a good thing. 

Having a technology partner that can manage and maintain your networks can go a long way to protecting you, your data and your clients from cybercrimes that compromise confidential and important data.

If you are currently sporting one of those FREE email addresses on your business card, don’t despair.  Many businesses when they first start out try to keep costs low and then get so busy they never think to upgrade their technology.  But now that you know, it is time to take a good look at your business – and not just your email. 

To stay on top of today’s rampant cyber threats you need to make sure that you have an iron-clad back up, proactive management and monitoring of your IT networks, and also make sure that you have policies in place so that your employees don’t inadvertently download a virus that makes you a sitting duck for cybercrime. 

We offer hosted exchange services that provide for the robust features and performance of exchange without the need to purchase system server(s), licenses, etc. We work with multiple vendors as determined by our client’s needs. Our exchange services are fast, secure, and have an archive option available in addition to its regular backup.   If you are ready to make the switch, we can help. 

About Tech 2020 Solutions
Tech 2020 Solutions offers complete turn-key solutions for the technologies that drive your business, stores and secures your data and helps you communicate in and outside of your company.

Offering other multiple levels of on-site and remote support, monitoring and maintenance for your data, IT, phones and peripheral equipment needs including: general IT Support and Services, Cloud Storage and Applications, Network Security, Back Up, Mobile Solutions, VoIP Phone Systems, Unified Communications, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and other Scalable Technologies.

Visit www.Tech2020Solutions.com to learn more about Tech 2020 Solutions, Inc. or call 516-876-8761 or email info@Tech2020solutions.com.

Power Up with John Hassler is a blog distributed by Tech 2020 Solutions, Inc. and written by John Hassler, President and Founder of the company.  To reach John, contact him at 516.876.8761 or via email at news@Tech2020Solutions.com.  Connect on Linked In and Facebook.