This is a major update to what I consider one of my most important articles, dating all the way back to 2004 (with intermediate updates in 2010 and 2013).
My answer has changed from “mostly no” to “mostly yes”, with the following important caveats:
- You must understand the costs.
- You must understand the risks.
- You must prepare for disaster.
- You must take responsibility.
I’ll dive into each of these in detail, but before I do, I’ll share one concrete datapoint: all of my email is currently being processed via free email accounts. Clearly, I believe it can be done safely.