Have you every thought about the art-form that is picking an e-mail name? You have to choose one that no one else is using, it has to be creative or descriptive of you in some way, and not include too many numbers (angry_eggplant is creative, but angry_eggplant375253 is lame and hard to type too).
But there's more to it than that. If you're using an account for business, you'll probably want your business name or personal name. If you're using the account to sign up for religious, political, or hobby sites that you don't necessarily want people to associate with you for privacy reasons, using your real information is not a good idea.
Many e-mail services also let you choose a display name that is different from your e-mail address (which is howcan show up in your e-mail box as "Joe" when their actual address is email@example.com).
Whether it's your e-mail itself or just the display name, follow: Never give up important data without a reason.
How to choose a good business e-mail name
First, decide how you want to use the e-mail account. Generally, only in cases where you are specifically using an account for a business of some sort would I say it's ok to use your real name. Even then, why list your full name when your first name and last initial (or the reverse) will do? Here are some examples:
- Jeremy D (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- J Duffy (email@example.com)
Be careful that your e-mail name added with your display name don't give away everything such as in this case: Jeremy D (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also get creative with your e-mail (which you usually have to do since there's probably a lot of people with your name that already have e-mail accounts). Maybe something like this would work:
- Jeremy (email@example.com)
- Jeremy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I know plenty of people who look perfectly professional with public e-mail accounts by using their business name as their alias and using the display name to make who they actually are more obvious.
And in the final case where you have your own domain name, it's pretty easy to create a good e-mail name, but don't over-do it:
- email@example.com (not a real e-mail by the way)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (unless you don't care that EVERYONE knows your last name)
- Jeremy.G.Duffy@thegeekprofessor.com (is there ANY point to giving out your middle name or initial? I don't think so).
- CEO_Jeremy@thegeekprofessor.com (Way to paint a target on yourself. Prepare for and worse).
How to Choose a Good Personal Username
The first rule is to not use your real name or any other important information. At the MOST you can put your first name as your "display name" so people have an idea of who you actually are, but unless it's necessary, it's better not to.
The second thing is to think twice about what IS important information in the first place. Do you really care if everyone knows that you love dolphins? Probably not, but if you are trying to be anonymous, even that amount of information could be used to help uncover your true identity.
Also, if your e-mail name broadcasts the things you like, that can be used by someone to social-engineer you. Now, it might be paranoid to avoid something so innocent for a fairly low risk of being conned, BUT if someone were to contact you talking about how much they loved dolphins, remember that a con artist will start out by trying to build rapport and a good way to do that is to love what you love.
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|Don't be one of those people that loses thousands of dollars to the classic.|
|Useand BCC the rest of the time.|
|Usewhen you mean to and never when you don't.|
|Practice properto protect privacy and make e-mails more readable.|
|Alwaysto make it obvious to your recipient that it's valid.|
E-mail Tips and Tricks
|- Be careful about using sensitive data (like your real name) in an e-mail account.|
|Remember to treat your e-mail account with the.|
|Use ato keep your main e-mail account free of spam.|
|Avoid using any.|