Email is key

To kick off my musings on Home IT I wanted to discuss email.

I know that “social media” is the “in” thing now, but even so, your email account should be the first thing you deal with. Nearly any social media site requires an email account to register. Even sites that accept a different site’s login will trace back to an email address at the original site.

And when your password gets messed up, your browser gets reloaded and you loose your saved logons, or you just go blank one day, how do you reset that account? You go to their handy little “I forgot my password” page and enter what? That’s right, your email address. And they send a reset link or whatever to your email address. If you don’t still have access to that account, you’re out of luck.

Your online banking, paying your utility bills, your various web accounts, whatever… so many of them rely on an email address.

All of this leaves aside so many of your friends and acquaintances that may have it on file. Again, social media comes and goes, but so far email lasts. Can you believe email has existed for over 50 years? Would you look forward to changing your phone number? Number portability was a “must have” for many people. Like your phone number or address, when it changes, its a royal pain.

The nice thing about email is that IT NEED NEVER CHANGE! You can have the same email address for the rest of your life (or until email fades away, whichever comes first :-)).

How?

Own your own domain. Don’t just use the email address that your internet provider gives you. You may use their mail servers behind the scenes, but please don’t use that address.

Yes, it will cost you a few bucks a year. But it’s worth it… as soon as you decide to move from DSL to Cable to Satellite to Mesh Networks (or whatever comes next), you’ll appreciate the fact that your email address is still the same.

How many people are still paying AOL just to keep their email address? Millions more use their free service to keep accounts active to keep their AOL e-mail addresses.

I mean CIA Director John Brennan was recently exposed as still using AOL for email. Regretfully the exposure was due to his account being hacked, but…

Wouldn’t you rather have an email address that is “you” and not AOL (leaving aside the humor value of having an AOL account).

My next posting will outline some thoughts on purchasing and maintaining a domain. Then we can see about how to have your email address always follow you around.