Since the 2016 elections, there are likely few Americans who think that using their personal email address for the business is a good idea. While that particular saga is long over, it lingers in our memories. Nonetheless, because they’re not presidential candidates, many people don’t think it’s that big a deal. They become complacent and use their personal emails when they don’t have to.

This is completely unnecessary when you can easily get a business email address, even if you are a one-person company. Using your website builder, opt for the customized email address option when choosing your domain name. You can then use the app native to your computer and phone to receive emails to this address, whether Outlook, Apple Mail or any other. You don’t have to use clumsy third-party applications.

But why is it such a big deal to use your personal email address for business?

It’s Unprofessional

The most basic reason not to use your personal email address for the business is that it’s unprofessional. If potential clients or partners see your emails coming from a Gmail or Hotmail account, they immediately get the impression that you’re not all that invested in your own business. It seems like you haven’t even bothered to pay for your own customized email.

This also links to the reality that scammers usually use free email accounts. They are unlikely to pay for customized email addresses, and so a free account is always a red flag. The last thing you want to do is let people assume that you are a scammer!

It’s Unsafe

If you’re running a business, your business email accounts should only be accessible by staff via the company VPN. You should take extra steps to secure your emails, considering the cost of competitors or fraudsters getting access to certain documents. If you deal with confidential information from clients, this is especially crucial.

Your personal email address does not have the same protections. Yes, Gmail is fairly secure. However, what if someone gets access to your password in a leak from another site? They can then access your email from wherever they are in the world and will be able to see business documents. This is not so easy if you need to use extra security in addition to your username and password.

Client Expectations

Another reason to never use your personal email address for business emails is that your clients expect you to be more careful with their information. They assume that you are using a secure server when you access business emails. If you are not, they will have serious issues with your business practices.

If someone does access those emails because of your lax security, your client will have the option to take legal action based on your confidentiality agreements. You won’t have a leg to stand on if you’ve agreed to take all possible precautions in the first place.

Even if the client’s information is never compromised, you may accidentally email them using your personal account. Then, they may take their business somewhere else.

Digital Paper Trail

It is also important that all business communications go through business emails so that you can always track your digital paper trail. This is crucial if your company is dealing with a major issue in court or even if there is simply the need to recall some past business. If some of the information is in your personal account, the company may not be able to find it.

If it is not your own company, you may then have to confess that you used your personal email, and could get in serious trouble. Keeping everything internal is extremely important in today’s world, where people expect everything to be trackable.

Representing the Company

When you use your own personal email address for business emails, you are not only putting the company data at risk but you are also damaging your own potential to be taken seriously. Sending an email from a company email address proves that you are working on behalf of the company and not on your own account. Without this, a client or partner might worry that you are not affiliated or are not trusted by the company.

This also helps if the company gets into legal trouble. If you’ve used your personal email address to send business emails, they could blame you for certain missteps. If it all comes through company email addresses, they cannot wash their hands of the issue that easily.

In today’s world, there is no reason to ever use your personal email address for business emails. Take the extra steps to be careful, even if it does not seem that important right no