• United States

Mailbag: Using Yahoo for corporate e-mail

Feb 17, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Readers respond to article about using Yahoo for e-mail

I received quite a few responses to my recent article about a user in a Fortune 500 company switching to Yahoo because of a need to get better spam protection than his company was willing to provide.

Here’s a sampling of the responses I received:

* “While I can understand why the person ended up using Yahoo for company e-mail and I can understand why the company isn’t paying for an anti-spam service, the confluence of the two events ends up putting corporate business information at greater risk.”

* “Highly ironic statements in the spam avoidance article. Probably half our spam (and yes, we use corporate filters) comes from Yahoo and Hotmail accounts!”

* “I also have a Yahoo account. They do a pretty good job at keeping junk out of my Inbox. But here’s the key: the account is only free for 6M bytes. After 6M bytes, I think you pay $9.95/month, far more than the $15/seat/year license that your reader viewed as too expensive.” [Yahoo Mail Plus actually starts at $30 per year.]

* “Your writer mentions $15 per seat for a solution… this seems unrealistic, especially for larger corporations where there are significant discounts available. In our estimation the benefit of implementing anti-spam measures will be beneficial both in terms of reducing load on resources… but also in terms of alleviating frustration by our user community.”

* “First, our users can use Web mail from anywhere, so I don’t quite get the need for an outside mail vendor. They can use POP3 from their own computer or a Web interface from any computer and see their Exchange e-mail from any browser. I’ve used Yahoo mail but I wasn’t enthralled with it.”

* Don’t we lose a degree of security going outside corporate e-mail? While working for several large international companies I regularly received information about revised release dates, engineering and manufacturing issues, etc., that could potentially affect sales or customer perceptions. However, since this information never left our network, it was “secure”; sending e-mail to Yahoo (or other outside entities)… provides an open door for information to leak.”

* “As a longtime user of Yahoo mail I was glad to see it get positive press for its efforts to combat spam. Too often I see attacks on Yahoo for contributing to the spam problem, mostly by people who don’t understand that the spam they received did not originate from where they think.”

* “From an information security perspective my company (also a Fortune 500 firm) does not allow forwarding of e-mail to external addresses from the company e-mail system. What reliability should this user expect from Yahoo? How does Yahoo implement backups? Who has access to Yahoo’s backups and servers? What records retention policies are implemented? How secure is the company information contained in the user’s messages? All around this is not good practice.”

Thanks to everyone who sent me their comments on the article.