Microsoft recently started the Scroogled campaign which mentions why Outlook is non-invasive compared to Gmail in terms of privacy because Gmail scans the content of every email and then displays targeted ads.
While this isn’t exactly new because Gmail is a free service and many free email providers display ads to make up for their services, what is more important is that free email services regardless of the brand don’t have to be responsible for safeguarding user data. So in an event of an outage, if emails or entire accounts are lost and unrecoverable then the providers have no obligation to restore the user data.
This can be concerning and so using a paid email service is far better at least for sensitive information like finance, business deals and other data that is deemed high priority. I use free email services (Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook) for personal informal and low priority correspondence while a paid email provider for business related stuff.
Most visible advantage of having a paid email service is the quick access to their support as well as being assured that all the emails will be available at any point of time regardless of any outage since this is what clients pay for – reliability and security. Other advantage is complete privacy with no ads being displayed at all.