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Monday, October 1, 2018

1931. Email service help.

I've heard you mention services that look at your email, and help with various mail services, like removing you automatically from email lists. This makes me nervous. Is it safe?

Over the years I've signed up for a lot of services that were free that promise to go through my mail and make decisions for me or help me with various tasks. One of them is Trip It, which will keep track of reservations I've made I'm airlines or at hotels so I can go to one place to see them all. Another one was Unroll.me which would attempt unroll me from various mailing lists. Both of those services ask you to provide your mail credentials that allows them to log into your mail service. And they then use those credentials to walk through your mail and do stuff for you. At one point I thought, oh who cares, I don't mind. I'll let them look. But over the years it's become more and more difficult to allow them to do that. Basically if you're getting a service for free you're paying for it somewhere else. They're using your data for one reason or another. A big problem came when unroll.me was actually found to be using data it retrieved from email accounts to do stuff with. In other words at this point I would definitely say do not sign up for any free service that requires access to your mailbox. Sooner or later your mail will be used for purposes you did not intend. Yes, it's great to have someone else be able to peruse your mail and let you know when a package is going to arrive, or sign you up or remove you actually from email lists but it's not worth the risk. Just don't do it.




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