So you only have one email address 😲


I'm not going to bang on about the old days.


I'm just going to say that these days everybody needs at least 2 email addresses.


I've written about email a lot over the years: https://www.ihatemypc.com.au/blog/categories/email


But I don't recall ever telling you that.


If you haven't worked it out already, it is because many things you do online these days require a "recovery address".


If you only have one email address, the main address for anything, then it can't be your recovery address as well.


The most recent example of this pain I have bumped up against is with Facebook.


In setting up Facebook for customers with only one email address, I have been forced to use one of my domain emails as one of their mandatory recovery options e.g. squirrelll456@bigpond.com ---> my domain recovery address for them squirrelll456@ihatemypc.com.au.


Neither of those are real as far as I know so don't waste your time emailing them :-)


This isn't great for 2 main reasons:


1) The person is relying on a third party to provide access to potentially private information.


2) I get pestered all the time by notifications and security alerts for a whole bunch of people who aren't really my responsibility i.e. I ain't getting paid to handle it.


If you read through any of my back-posts on my blog you'll see I advise against relying on your ISP (Internet Service Provider) supplied email address for the long haul.


If (not when) you move to a new ISP everything you used the old email address for will need resetting and/or be inaccessible i.e. recovery and reset attempts will go to an email address you no longer have access to.


So an ISP independent email address is advised e.g. Gmail or Outloook.com/Hotmail or whatever other one you care to choose (there are hundreds - just be careful).


If I was you I'd make sure that my email addresses were never tied to an ISP.


ISPs are not really interested in providing you with email and they generally do it badly.


NOTE: If you have a domain with email hosting like I do (@ihatemypc.com.au), then those are not necessarily tied to an ISP either. Because you own the domain you can host it wherever you want, so moving it is not a big issue. But when you stop paying for the domain, you lose those addresses too!


As security tightens from various vendors of hardware and software, for our own good, the ability to recover what's locked inside a service/device WITHOUT a valid recovery option becomes harder and harder and is often impossible.


That means losing EVERYTHING within it. If that scares you then you should read my posts about backups too.


You may not think you have a need for this level of redundancy but chances are you already do. You just haven't bumped up against the pain of it yet.


It should be noted that many "things" have additional recovery options available e.g. text messages to phones, authentication app's, device notifications etc.


Sometimes these other channels will be enough, other times they won't. It just depends on the application or device.


Regardless of how you go about this you need to ensure that the email addresses you have registered with "things" are current and accessible.


This isn't a set and forget scenario i.e. if you have a Gmail account that you haven't logged into for 5 years then it has probably already been deleted by Google through inactivity.


If whatever it is you have is "old" then there's a chance you weren't forced to record recovery options when you first signed up. That's rare these days.


But for older things, I can't tell you the number I times I have had to reset a password for a customer only to find that the registered recovery details are missing or obsolete.


That means the recovery is going nowhere.


It is no longer a recovery. It is now a funeral.


Take care and prepare yourself for a good recovery.


David




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