Getting a Permanent E-Mail Address
Your school e-mail address will probably be deleted once you leave school. However, if you get a free e-mail account with a major Internet mail provider you can keep the same address-probably throughout your lifetime. This can be important for such things a resumes and business cards.
Major Internet sites offering free e-mail accounts include:
If you don't like any of these you can do an Internet search for "free e-mail" and come up with dozens of other possibilities. The above e-mail providers should be okay, but, you might want to initially visit each of them to see how fast they can be accessed (some are very busy) and take a look at their features.
Some e-mail services have built-in spell checks, some have spell checks that are rather poor, and some don't have spell checks at all.
All of these free e-mail services are paid for by advertising that shows up around the basic e-mail frame. (You can pay for e-mail services that don't have advertising. Often, this is just an upgrade.)
When you sign up you will be asked to select a user name. Although the service may suggest a, you might want to give this issue some thought.
If firstname.lastname@example.org is suggested by the provider's computer, for example, you might want to try out some other possibilities to see if they are taken. Some services allow you to use special characters such as underlines and hyphens in your user name, some don't.
If one service doesn't have a user name you like (or that's relatively easy to remember), try another service. Just abandon the registration process with a service immediately after you see that no name that you like is available.
During sign-up you will also be asked to provide a password and a password reminder.
In selecting a password for any of today's services it's best to select a word that's not in the dictionary. This precludes someone from running a computer program that goes through the dictionary trying everything. (Who knows, some day you may be head of a billion-dollar corporation and you'll need to keep your e-mail very secure!) You can also combine letters with numbers for a password, which adds an even greater level of security.
The password reminder, which is used by some services to provide you with your password in case your forget it, could be your mother's maiden name, your first dog's name, or whatever -- something you'll always remember, but other people wouldn't be apt to guess.
Since we all end up having to remember many passwords in today's password-protected world, it's best to write all this down and put it in a safe place. To add an extra level of security, some people regularly change their passwords.
No legitimate service will call you and ask you for your password (so if someone calls and asks, tell them to...well, you know).
As part of their options some of these e-mail services allow you to sign up for free daily or weekly subscriptions to Internet magazines and newsletters. There are scores of special interest groups on the Internet that send out regular newsletters, etc. (So, even if no one normally writes you, :-( you'll still have a reason to log on each day!)
Once you get an Internet e-mail account, try it for a few weeks and make sure you are satisfied with the service. At that point you can put the e-mail address on your resume and possibly even some personal "business" cards that you can give your friends.
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