How long do you usually keep your car before trading it in? How long since you upgraded your computer? Have you had the same email address for over 10 years? Maybe it’s time for a change.
Often I am asked about how to change an email address. Sometimes a client has been ‘hacked,’ and their email and password have been compromised. Sometimes the amount of junk mail, or ‘Spam,’ becomes a relentless barrage that cannot be held back. There are several solutions to these dilemmas, including creating a stronger password, unsubscribing (this only works when it is a legitimate site!) and using junk mail filters.
Sometimes it is easier to start fresh with a new email address, and I will describe that process in this article. Depending on the email service that you’re using and how much effort you want to put into things, changing your email address can be either easy or difficult.
More likely, it will be closer to the easy side if you plan and follow the steps reviewed here.
First, it is a good idea to keep your current email active if creating a new one for usage. This will allow you to monitor the old account and check for any messages from senders not aware that your email has changed.
Next, you can decide on a new email provider, or you can reserve your own domain for email. There are several free services: Gmail (firstname.lastname@example.org), Apple’s iCloud (email@example.com) and Yahoo! (firstname.lastname@example.org) are some of the largest. Another option is to get your own domain (www.yourname.com) and then you have a personal email address (email@example.com) that is unique and memorable. This can be done for around $30 per year.
After you create the new account, you will need to send out an electronic ‘Change of Address’ notice. This can be simple and to the point, it will go to those friends, family and associates that you correspond with regularly, we will address other accounts later. You have probably received several such emails from your friends, this time it is you who will be sending it. Here is a simple template:
Subject: My New Email Address
Message Body: Effective immediately, my new email address will be
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please copy this address and paste it into
your address book, replacing my prior email.
• Important: Send this email only from your new email address, and make sure to put all the recipients into the BCC field to avoid sending your entire address book to everyone. This is short, simple and to the point.
You now have a fresh, clean email account that is only known by those you shared it with. Continue to monitor your ‘old’ address for any stragglers that did not get the notice, and you can notify them of your new address as needed.
Updating your accounts:
Rather than trying to sit down and remember all the places your email address is stored online, do it as you go. Fill out the change of address forms on sites you are registered with as you return to them, this will make the task less daunting. Keep a list of those you have completed for reference. Also remember that your username is often your email address, and this may not need to be changed everywhere it is used.
You often have a separate username and contact email, you may keep your old username but make sure to change your contact email in your account settings for each website.
One reason to keep the older email active is that you can use that when you need to fill out a form that requires an email address, this will help you keep the junk separate form the valid emails. You could also create a second new email address, often called an alias, which you could use only for forms and shopping, to help filter any resulting junk mail. Also remember that it is often not a good idea to delete an email account entirely, as you may need to check it for messages from those you correspond with less frequently. There will come a time that you only need to check that old email account once a month or less!
Changing your email does not have to be a difficult process, and by following the steps listed it should be an easy endeavor.
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