Last week the news broke that Yahoo had begun testing a new initiative where users with ad-blocking enabled would be denied access to their email.
I’ve been in this business a long time, we’ve been through countless DDoS attacks, and a lot of “red-alert” situations. From those experiences I can tell you that users are for the most part pretty stoic and understanding about outages, even if it is causing them serious pressure at the time.
There is one exception to this: email. Mess with somebody’s email and all bets are off. People, in a word, freak. Which is understandable because I start having heart palpitations if I’m in a space with only one network connection, most people are like that with their email. It’s their connection to the world, their families, their businesses, their employers, everything.
I often used to joke that civilization made it this far (-20 years) without the internet, and if the internet suddenly “went away” we’d probably just limp along without it. But I don’t joke about that anymore. Without email, we’d be living in a Mad Max situation faster than if the bees went extinct.
Which is why I can never understand why anybody would use email addresses at domains that they don’t directly control or own. Especially in this day and age where a domain name costs pennies per day. Even if you just mail forwarded your own domain’s email to some place else, you at least have the option of rerouting elsewhere if that backend mail provider decides to mess with you.
It really doesn’t matter if Yahoo decides to move forward with this policy or not. If not them today then tomorrow somebody else doing something else that’s going to seriously threaten your personal info-sovereignty.
If you’ve been handing out business cards, QR codes and airbrushed email addresses with somebody else’s domain onto your fleet of trucks, it makes it very difficult, and a lot more expensive to vote with your feet.
So grab your own domain name, use it at the very least to forward email. And while we’re on the topic, we still haven’t unbundled easyMail from DNS Hosting, so for now you still get three email boxes with DNS Hosting and ten easyMail boxes with DNS Pro (which is insane, which is why that is going away very soon).