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The ISP E-mail Trap

Don't fall for the trap!
Don't fall for the trap!

It's great isn't it? When you sign up for Internet service and get online the first time, they helpfully provide you an e-mail account to use for free! Of course, almost all online e-mail accounts are free, but your isp makes it easy by giving you software that sets your homepage to their service with quick links into your e-mail. Heck, they practically PUSH you right into it.

The problem comes in when you inevitably find a better deal and want to switch services. It's a pain to change e-mail accounts particularly if you started using it for your business. But most ISPs won't let you keep your account once you cancel service. You either have to give it up or pay a monthly fee to access it. Now… you're trapped.

I have known people who have paid over $15 a month to their prior ISP just so they could keep the account active! So much for saving money with a different provider. In fact, there's a lot of people who, after doing the math, decide it's really not worth switching at all. On an unrelated note, I wonder how these companies decide how much to charge for e-mail service without Internet… hmm…

Avoid the Trap

All thinly veiled accusations aside, it's simple to just avoid the trap in the first place. Never, EVER, use the e-mail provided by your Internet service (unless you think it would make a good decoy account and it doesn't list your real name).

It's simple and it's free to get e-mail service from any number of well-known providers online: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc. I've used all three and they each have their advantages and disadvantages, but the key is that they all work regardless of any ISP you use.

Guide Navigation
prev: Using a Decoy E-Mail Account|INDEX|

E-mail Dangers

Until we find out who the people are who actually buy things from spammers and kick them off the Internet, you're going to have to learn how to deal with and prevent spam.
E-mail Viruses - Learn how viruses are spread through e-mail and how to stop them
Phishing - Spot and avoid lures that pull you into the dark side of the web
Don't be one of those people that loses thousands of dollars to the classic Nigerian Scam.

E-mail Etiquette

Use CC only when necessary and BCC the rest of the time.
Use Reply-All when you mean to and never when you don't.
Practice proper E-mail Forwarding to protect privacy and make e-mails more readable.
Always personalize your e-mails to make it obvious to your recipient that it's valid.

E-mail Tips and Tricks

Using E-Mail Aliases Properly - Be careful about using sensitive data (like your real name) in an e-mail account.
Remember to treat your e-mail account with the security it deserves.
Use a decoy e-mail account to keep your main e-mail account free of spam.
Avoid using any Internet provider's default e-mail.
IDENTITY THEFT
How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy
Credit Freeze
Data Defense
Credit Monitoring
Id Theft Insurance
The Identity Theft Victim's Mini-Guide to Recovery
PRIVACY
The Geek Privacy Principle
Nothing to Hide
Data Abuse
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification
Privacy Alias/Persona
Data Defense
INTERNET SAFETY
Online Addiction
The Consequences of Posting Online
Photo Safety
Tricks and Scams
Account Hijacking
Trusting Companies
PASSWORDS
Bad Passwords
Password Tips and Tricks
Password Protection
Password Mugging
Computer Security
E-mail Safety
Kids and Computers
Shopping Online
Retailers
All About Warranties

Using a Decoy E-Mail Account

Why it's very important to use a buffer e-mail account to shield your main account from people and companies that you don't trust.

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Using E-Mail Aliases Properly

It can be hard to find a good name to use in an e-mail account that hasn't been used and doesn't give away too much information about you.

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Preventing Spam

Spam is annoying and worthless, but you still see it every single day. Here are some tips for preventing and reducing spam.

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E-mail Viruses

Make sure that viruses don't sneak onto your computer through your e-mails. Read some simple tips to prevent that from happening.

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Phishing

By far the most dangerous thing you'll find in e-mails is a lie. Sending a bogus e-mail to someone is generally called phishing, but can also be referred to as a Nigerian scam (depending on the goal of the e-mail). Learn to recognize and deal with phishing before it's too late.

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Nigerian Scam

Many people have lost thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the classic Nigerian Scam. Don't fall for it!

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How to Use "CC" Properly

Don't violate people's privacy and invite spam into their accounts by CC'ing all your contacts. Learn the proper way to send mass e-mails first.

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Reply-All

It's easy to embarass yourself or harm your career when you don't know how to use Reply-All appropriately.

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How to Forward E-mails Properly

Don't forward e-mails carelessly or you risk looking foolish as best and violating the privacy of all your contacts at worst.

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Personalize E-mail

Follow this simple rule of e-mail etiquette to help prevent your friends and family from falling for phishing scams.

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Using E-Mail Aliases Properly

It can be hard to find a good name to use in an e-mail account that hasn't been used and doesn't give away too much information about you.

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Protecting E-mail Passwords

Your e-mail account is the most important online account you have. Remember to treat it as such!.

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Using a Decoy E-Mail Account

Why it's very important to use a buffer e-mail account to shield your main account from people and companies that you don't trust.

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The ISP E-mail Trap

Don't fall for the trap of using the free e-mail account provided to you by your Internet service!

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