Before giving the United States Postal Service a hard time throughout the remainder of this article, we’d like to take a moment to stress that the USPS is still one of the greatest deals around: For 33 cents, they’ll carry your letter around for weeks, even months at a time. Oh, and along the way, they may also crash their mail truck into the fence of a backyard that will no longer be the site of an upcoming wedding because, well, the fence has been wrecked to smithereens by the mail truck. They’ll even do it for free. For a visual demonstration of this business model, see the photo at left.
This mail truck picked the wrong fence to mess with. The fence above belongs to a web developer who works here at eFileCabinet—a software vendor with a client sharing portal that trumps email’s lackluster security features and flat out shames the inefficiency of snail mail. So the roast ensues.
This may leave you wondering. Wait. Isn’t snail mail a necessity for larger packages and bigger items? Well, yes. At least until 3D printing really takes off. But the 141 billion letters mailed in 2014 certainly weren’t necessities. (1) Assuming an even statistical distribution, this means that every person on the planet sent 19 letters in 2014. Email had existed for 21 years in 2014, making it old enough to consume alcohol, vote, and join the United States Army. 21 isn’t very old in real life, but in technology years, that’s really old. Not only does the word email rhyme with fail, it frequently results in a fail by one means or another: lost messages, unstructured information, data interception. Take your pick.
We haven’t even started to fume about the environmental damage paper causes—no pun intended. The letters sent alone cost the lives of nearly 170 million trees, and when envelopes and stamps are included in the tree-killing count, the number of trees lost imputes to roughly 400 million. The lesson? Not only is snail mail a ridiculously outdated and needless file sharing method, the trucks that distribute these pieces of mail are now housed in the same pantheon as wedding saboteurs and backyard-fence-destroying ne’er do wells. We feel for our web developer, we really do. But we’re just downright embarrassed for snail mail.
The glaring failures of snail mail are further exacerbated by the fact that many superior alternatives to snail mail exist; no, email isn’t one of these alternatives. Especially when it comes to sharing sensitive information safely and securely. Although email is more cost effective up-front than snail mail, the risk of non-compliance imposes some serious questions regarding the level of risk organizations are willing to take on.
Given the number of data breaches that occurred in 2015 alone, sharing sensitive information via email is a gargantuan ‘no-no.’ The only safe alternative for organizations handling and transmitting sensitive customer information across digital channels, is, well, the SecureDrawer product we just happen to sell. But even if we didn’t work for eFileCabinet, we’d still stand behind that sentiment. Just ask our web developer.
So, let it be heard: Let’s reserve traditional letter exchanging for elementary school classrooms, where third graders can pass notes and crush on each other. Who knows? It could result in a wedding not imperiled by a malfunctioning mail truck.