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Email

You'll obviously need an email address. What's less obvious that not all email addresses are created equal. I recommend:

  • Not using an email address at your ISP's domain. If you do, you'll have to tell everyone whenever you switch ISPs. It's okay to have the email address you give out forward your email to your ISP account and to access it there (because you can update the forwarding to point to a different address any time), but just don't give out the address your ISP gave you.
  • Getting your own domain name and using an email address at your own domain name. For more details, see my write up about domain names.
  • GMail. This is partly a personal preference, and I'm sure you could substitute other email services in and get similar benefits. What I like GMail for is:
    • Spam filtering. Wherever you get yoru email, be sure it has a good spam filter.
    • I don't have to go to the GMail website to access my mail. I have Thunderbird installed on my desktop computer, and have it configured to fetch my email from GMail so that I don't have to go to the website.
  • If you have multiple email addresses, configure them all to forward your mail to one account, and access it all from there. I have a ton of email addresses, and they're all configured to forward my mail to my GMail account.
  • If you can, you might want to use a system that enables you to easily add a new email addresses any time, and use a separate one whenever you have to give out an address to sign up on a website. The reason for this is that it makes it easy to:
    • Figure out when somebody gives your address out to spammers -- if you only gave a particular address to one site, and you start getting spam at that address, then that site must have sold the address (unless the spammers just got lucky and guessed it).
    • Shut down addresses that start getting a lot of spam.

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