June 10, 2023

Another Identity Protection Failure

I’ve been reading a lot of identity protection blogs lately as part of my job, but today I ran across one that actually made me say “WTF” out loud. It’s actually just an announcement by a web hosting company saying that they will no longer accept customers with free email accounts. The reasoning is that most ID thieves use free throwaway accounts from hotmail, yahoo, or gmail.

While it may be true that most ID thieves use free accounts, banning free accounts does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop ID theft. Think about it. Is it really that hard for somebody to create a paid email account if they already have your name, credit card, and billing information. If they have all this, chances are pretty good that they already have YOUR email account too.

Like somebody in the first comment said, my bank, insurance company, and even credit card company let me use free email providers. I still use a free email provider (gmail) for most of my non-work related things.

The major problem with paid email accounts is that they change more often than free accounts. When I set up my 401k it was through a work account. When I switched jobs, I stopped receiving email notifications for months until I realized to change it.

In the last year I’ve switched jobs, sold a website, and switched internet providers. All of these changes brought about new “paid” email accounts, but I’ve still had my same Gmail account.

Requiring a paid email address for a service will not add any protection, but it will piss off a bunch of customers – especially if you can’t even get your own paid email solution to work.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com