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Last post Author Topic: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address  (Read 25349 times)

mouser

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Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« on: July 19, 2008, 10:28:19 AM »
My internet service provider just got bought out by another company and decided they would discontinue the old email addresses.  So now i have to go around to every site i've ever signed up at and change my email address.

So some advice:

  • Never actually use your ISP provided email address when you sign up at places, and never give it out to friends and family.
  • Set up another email account like gmail or one through your own domain name+hosting, and use that.
  • It's fine to just forward email sent to your other account to your isp account, and then do everything from there, but the key is not to ever become dependent on an email address that is tied to your isp, since it's not reliable as a permanent address.

housetier

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 12:00:20 PM »
The address might also become unavailable when one decides to switch ISPs for whatever reason.

I "lost" a friend this way: he kept using his ISP email address for years even though I literally begged him to sign up at one of the many mane freemail providers. Now he's switched to a different ISP and I no longer can email him.

Please do use a reliable freemail provider for your email stuff. mouser's advice is VERY GOOD!

Carol Haynes

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 12:30:51 PM »
I agree (got stung by this years ago and was the primary reason to get my own domain name).

Having said that be careful of freebie email too - Microsoft now have live.com instead of hotmail - how long will hotmail be supported? All the talk of yahoo being sold raises the question of what will happen to yahoo.... addresses in yeras to come if they get sold out. Same could happen with gmail (though not likely in the short term).

If you buy your own domain (dirt cheap) and choose the company you buy it from carefully you will probably get free forwarding so that email can be forwarded to any address you want to use. GMail allows you to send email from your domain based email addresses as well as gmail addresses so you can send and receive from you own domain name for free. If the usual email method fails, changes name or goes bust you just change the forwarders on your domain and keep the same email address. Many companies selling domain names allow you to have many email addresses based on your domain for nothing so long as you keep the domain with them.

40hz

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 12:33:15 PM »
Excellent advice.   :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

My original ISP was SNET. Which got bought out by SBC Global. Which got bought out by AT&T. Rather than deal with more changes, I now use a GMail account I created just for registrations. With all that free storage space it's easy to keep a permanent save file of all my registrations (except financial institutions). It's also good place to keep software and product warranty correspondence.

For one-off product key registrations - or for places I have no intention of going back to - I suggest using a disposable e-mail account (via TrashMail.net et al) and pointing them to a second GMail account that you just purge every couple of months.  8)


TucknDar

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2008, 12:54:31 PM »
Good advice, indeed.

I feel pretty safe using gmail, but getting your own domain is probably the best solution. And you get to pick your address too :)

Stoic Joker

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2008, 02:14:35 PM »
Indeed my (ISP provided) Earthlink address turned into smoke a year ago when the local DSL provided (he who owns the copper...) broke the agreement they'd had and sprung up as Embarq. Embarq claimed to be migrating all the Earthlink accounts to their servers, but my (allegedly converted) Embarq account never has worked. Thankfully I've always run my own mail server, which is the only reason I'm still getting mail.  ...However Gmail does make for a nice backup & I keep a few other disposable Email accounts for (Um...) other stuff... :)

y0himba

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2008, 04:36:01 PM »
I use my ISP address for spam :D
My Web Site:  http://www.y0himba.net

Deozaan

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2008, 06:02:31 PM »
It's definitely worth $10 a year to own a domain name that allows you to create as many e-mail addresses as you want. I use Gmail for ALL my e-mail, but if a site requires me to sign up for it I create a new e-mail using the following pattern:

Let's say that somedumbsite.com wants me to sign up for an account before I can access the content, but I'm not too sure how true they are to their privacy policy. I'm paying $10 a year to register mydomain.com. I also have a Gmail account which is myusername@gmail.com

I create a new e-mail address: somedumbsite@mydomain.com
Then I have it forward all mail to my Gmail address: myusername+somedumbsite@gmail.com

This way, ALL my mail goes to one easy-to-check account. if I start to get spam I know exactly who/where it is coming from and I can either just remove the e-mail address from mydomain or set up a Gmail filter to trash it.

EDIT: For clarity.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2008, 06:19:38 PM by Deozaan »

housetier

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2008, 06:05:30 PM »
What's this trick with username plus something_else@gmail.com? What does it do for my gmailbox?

jgpaiva

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2008, 06:16:50 PM »
housetier: the trick is that if you use that 'username+something' scheme, the mail gets in your inbox anyway. So, you can check the "from" field, and see which of the sites you registered at are sending you spam :)

Deozaan

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2008, 06:18:15 PM »
What's this trick with username plus something_else@gmail.com? What does it do for my gmailbox?

You can add anything after your username in your gmail account and it will still be delivered to your normal gmail account. But it makes it easy to see where it's coming from or create filters.

Let's say your Gmail account is joebob@gmail.com. But you have a software business and you also like to go to the auction and another thing you do in your spare time is sign up for notifications about Remote Controlled Airplanes.

To make it easier to filter and apply labels (if you care to do that with your e-mail) you can display your e-mail address on your software website as joebob+software@gmail.com. And for auction transactions you can use joebob+auction@gmail.com. And for all your RC news letters, you can use joebob+RCFlyer@gmail.com.

It will all go to your account like normal but up at the top where it says "sender@hotmail.com to me" it will instead say "sender@hotmail.com to joebob+RCFlyer"

As I said, this makes it easier to sort your mail and apply labels and filters without needed hundreds of separate e-mail accounts that require you to log into separately.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2008, 07:18:00 PM »
The problem with the gmail trick name+x@gmail.com is that it doesn't take a genius to work out that name@gmail.com is your main account.

There is another problem too name+y@gmail.com will be delivered too - even though it is not a real email address that you gave out.

It is only a matter of time before spammers attack this form of naming and the owners main address.

The good thing with gmail is that their spam filter is not too bad.

Yahoo premium accounts (not that I recommend them having just moved from them to gmail) have a much better scheme - it goes like this:

Main account: name@yahoo.com

The user chooses a label and can create new email addresses manually within Yahoo mail in the form:

label-x@yahoo.com

all mail is delivered to your inbox (or you can automatically direct it to a mail folder).

This has huge advantages over the gmail aliases:

  • label-y@yahoo.com is bounced (because the label-y alias hasn't been physically set up by the user)
  • your main account name is not detectable because it is not included in the email address name
  • if spam appears you simply delete the alias
  • biggy - you can automatically reply from the alias address - so if you set up an alias with a user group and exchange emails you use the alias email address for incoming and outgoing mail.

The big disadvantages of yahoo mail (and the reason I gave up on the free premium account that my ISP provides) are that the user interface is clunky and buggy, the spam filter which is supposed to be trainable is extremely poor (it seems to filter more legitimate mail than spam), the volume of spam is huge because spammers use dictionary attacks on yahoo which yahoo fails to curb. The day my account was opened by my ISP I had spam in my inbox. The last one was the real deal breaker for me. Yahoo have a really stupid system that if you set up a user name like jane.dole@yahoo.com it automatically creates an alias like jane12245@yahoo.com which is equivalent to the main id. The trouble is those ids are very easy to generate and spam.

oldfart

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2008, 08:44:26 PM »
About twelve years ago I started renting a permanent email address from some web company.  It was great, for ten bucks per year I could just give out that email address and have it automatically forwarded to my ISP address, no matter what that was.  I was on dial-up at the time and once I got AOL's hands from around my throat I tried out several ISPs for six months to make sure I didn't get stuck in an AOHell world again. 
The permanent address worked great for about five years and suddenly I started getting tons of spam. In the past I had merely created a new permanent address, kept the other up and running until I was sure all the folks who needed to know, had the new address and I would then delete the old one.  Usually it took almost a year before spam took over an account.  Five years ago the Spam built up once again so I created a new address and before I gave it out to anyone, it was full of spam.  The only thing that made sense was that either the company itself or an employee was selling addresses.  Unfortunately he had gotten too efficient and got my address to the spammers before I could use it.
Since then I have kept an online account at yahoo and hotmail and a gmail account.  I hadn't known that domain names were so cheap to get.  I will definitely try out Deozaan's excellent suggestion.
dmg

myarmor

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2008, 11:51:24 PM »
The easiest for me in later years has been to have my own domain and MAKE SURE to own it myself, i.e not bought with a hosting package.
I then get myself a hosting package from another company (where you can disable the catchall account).

The reasoning is that if the host goes bust or whatever I'll just get hosting with someone else, change nameservers, and create the exact same mailaddress at the new one and
viola, nothing needs to be changed at all.

I don't use gmail etc, I like to keep my own mail.. especially because you can't know what they're doing with it.

mouser

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2008, 03:08:47 AM »
Great comments Carol  :up:
We are setting up a kind of alias system for dcmembers on the new server and you've pointed out some stuff i hadn't thought of.

Dormouse

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2008, 04:52:21 AM »
Let's say that somedumbsite.com wants me to sign up for an account before I can access the content, but I'm not too sure how true they are to their privacy policy. I'm paying $10 a year to register mydomain.com. I also have a Gmail account which is myusername@gmail.com

I have my own domains & emails & Gmail - but just for this temporary email, I'll use pookmail or equivalent to give me an address just for 24 hours.

mitzevo

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2008, 10:39:02 AM »
Good advice ;)
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

housetier

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2008, 04:50:29 PM »
However don't use trash / throw away email accounts for important communications: Never Trash Your Mail. Even if such throw away email accounts CAN be hijacked, I still consider them save enough for those "fire and forget" sign ups.

It's just me pointing out the security of electronic communication.

I find those throw email accounts rather convenient to avoid being spammed.

Deozaan

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2008, 08:18:52 PM »
The problem with the gmail trick name+x@gmail.com is that it doesn't take a genius to work out that name@gmail.com is your main account.

There is another problem too name+y@gmail.com will be delivered too - even though it is not a real email address that you gave out.

It is only a matter of time before spammers attack this form of naming and the owners main address.

That's the beauty of the method I use. Nobody sees the name+xyz@gmail account. In fact, they don't see Gmail at all. They see xyz@mydomain.com which is forwarded to name+xyz@gmail.com behind the scenes.

And with my host's control panel, it's not hard to mass edit all my forward-only e-mail accounts to change the forwarding address if my Gmail account finally is overrun with spam.

But let's put it this way: I've been using this method with my current Gmail account, which I've had for over two years now, and the only spam I ever get is an occasional newsletter from Xara, who just won't remove me from their mailing list.


Josh

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2008, 08:32:09 PM »
I use and rely on fusemail. With that said, if they ever were to go under, I have all my IMAP mail synced via t-bird's offline folder feature. Then, in the event of a swapover, I can just move folders from the local storage to the new email host as I did about 7 months ago when I swapped to fusemail. I love their service, find it extremely useful, and would recommend it to anyone. No, its not free and probably a tad more than most, but it works extremely well.

Renegade

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2008, 10:43:17 PM »
While I do have Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo email accounts, they are basically unused.

For years I've been running my own email servers simply because I am infinitely more reliable as I have direct control over every aspect of things. i.e. I can't get permanently screwed by someone else.

It's not a good option for most people, but having your own domain name should be a minimum requirement for anyone that wants things to be reliable. You control things then and can switch between different email service providers without relying on any specific one.

Most email service providers, including Gmail, have options to do this.

The costs are minimal, and can save you untold frustration.
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CleverCat

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2008, 02:19:37 AM »
My server (my Bank) just sold their internet to another co. Fortunately the address is still okay for seven years!

CleverCat

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2008, 03:05:40 AM »
My new ISP gives out a free domain name!

So does that mean I just route my other addresses through this one?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2008, 05:23:36 AM »
You need to be careful with ISPs that give away free domain names. There are often onerous conditions attached to the 'free' domain. If you ever want to move ISP (one of the reasons for using your own domain for email) you may find you have to pay a ridiculous price to get them to release the domain name and once you swap ISP you may not be able to access it any more if you don't pay for it to be released.

Before depending on a 'freebie' check the details of the deal. If it can be moved for free I would recommend that you do so - even if you have to pay a small annual fee to keep the domain name current. There is nothing to stop ISPs changing the terms and conditions in the future (and most seem to quite capriciously).

I have never understood the legality of a company saying 'agree to these terms' when one of the terms is that they can change the terms at will and you automatically agree top the changes (without even informing the customer in advance).

Jimdoria

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Re: Advice: Never use your ISP provided email address
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2008, 09:31:31 AM »
Just a quick addition - you don't have to host a domain name in order to have an unchanging emaill address.

For years now we've had my wife's e-mail through http://www.pobox.com. It's a service that simply receives e-mail and forwards it on to any address you specify. Change ISPs? Simply change the address your e-mail is forwarded to.

The annual fee is really low, and you can even have multiple aliases for aggregation, etc. For a less technical user who doesn't want to deal with the whole domain regsitration/setup/maintenance process, I'd definitely recommend this service.
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