Email is the single biggest vector for "hacks" and stealing money. Email is the biggest vector for spawning botnets. Heck, in half the email clients I see, there's no easy way to verify if <a href="phishingsite.com">your bank login</a> is a valid link to your actual bank or not.
Plus privacy issues, auto loading images (tracking pixels), accidentally reply-all, the ad-hoc way people think adding 50+ people to a CC list is a "mailing list," the way people think reply-all "+1 Adding Charlie" to the 50 people to add one new person to ad hoc email chain from hell is acceptable...
It's not good. It's just everywhere and people have accepted productivity killing social constructs around it so they can attempt to communicate at about a 60% effectiveness rate through such a broken medium.
Also notes, contacts, file transfers, reminders and more.
Spam? Spam is everywhere and if it is not now, is because it's not popular. Once it gets to the level of "email", they will make sure you are getting spammed.
What bothers me is that people look for alternatives to make us more "locked" aka "safe" instead of trying to educate. We, devs/sysadmins, have to find ways to make sure that people know how to use and protect themselves not to hijack the tools they use/work/need just because we like to be EDGY.
And that's also what makes the alternatives utterly useless. It takes a huge advancement to unseat things like email. Even a new technology like Dropbox has powerful incumbent "defenses" against superior alternatives like Syncthing and Bittorrent Sync. Who am I supposed to use these new replacements with? Literally nobody I know uses them. I can't even use rsync to transfer data to and from my clients (not in the software industry).
> Email is the single biggest vector for "hacks" and stealing money.
If this were less vague and thus actually falsifiable, you could also say that the single biggest vector for hacks and stealing money is the internet. The reason that email is the main vector on the internet is its ubiquity.
It would be great if email had been originally designed with signing and encryption capabilities, but it wasn't. The reason it is still better than some new messaging service that includes these capabilities is that is federated and decentralized and very tolerant of network failures.
> communicate at about a 60% effectiveness rate
Honestly, if humans could communicate 60% effectively, our experience as a species would be completely different. I don't think that email is the bottleneck here...