You can't touch it, you can't hold it, you can't taste or smell it. It's barely even a thing.
At the same time, your data is arguably your most valuable possession. So why treat it any differently than your house, your car or any other tangible object you hold dear?
It sounds like a no-brainer, yet a lot of organisations freely give up their data when they sign up for a solution for secure emailing.
It's like giving your house away to the people who installed a security system for it.
It sounds ridiculous, but perhaps because data is such a vague concept people often don't protect it as well as they should, even more so when they expect another party to protect it for them.
No one suspects a home security company to keep your house, so why should a data security company get to keep your data?
What happens when you send an email?
When you send an email with SmartLockr, the data is sent and stored with zero knowledge end-to-end encryption. This means no one except for you and the authorised recipient has access to it. But it does raise a question: where is the data stored exactly, and can you as a sender access it whenever and wherever you want?
Sent emails in your own email environment
It is important for organisations to know what is happening with their data. SmartLockr users, for example, save securely sent emails in the sender's inbox. These emails are neatly archived under sent items. This is not only useful for the user if, for example, it appears that incorrect information has been sent and the email must be blocked afterwards. By storing all sent emails on the user's own server, the user also remains in full control of the sent data.
The latter is especially important when you decide to switch to another supplier. Where and how your data is stored in large part determines the simplicity of your exit strategy.
The matter of whose house your in-house data solution is located in
Suppose you decide not to continue with your current supplier and choose to switch. What happens to your data when a contract is terminated?
There are suppliers who, unlike SmartLockr, keep customer data in-house. Sent emails are stored on the servers of these suppliers and not with the user themselves.
What this means is that the supplier will be in possession of all data for the duration of your contract. When you decide to leave, the switch is complicated. Your data cannot be taken with you that easily.
Imagine ending a contract with a home security provider with them saying Thank you for your business, but we'll keep the keys to your house.
It sounds outlandish, but this is essentially what happens when your email solution comes from a party that holds on to your data. The end result is your (sensitive) data is in the hands of a party you no longer have any agreement with.
Where is my data stored? is just one of the many considerations that comes with choosing the right solution for secure emailing. Naturally, companies that store your data in-house are often not upfront about it, or they pretend holding on to your data is part of the solution you're looking for.
To help you navigate the field and not be lured by false promises, and of course to make sure your data always stays yours, check out our free whitepaper through the link below: How to choose the right secure email solution?