Sometimes I am asked why I recommend a personal e-mail address (e.g. example.address@ 1ComputerCare.co.uk) rather than a general one (e.g. example.address@ yahoo.com) or worse, an ISP specific one (e.g. example.address@ btinternet.com). Here, I reveal my thinking.
- Least importantly, a private address lends kudos to the owner and sets them apart from the hoi polloi. A private address is usually more memorable and the distinction it implies reflects well on the owner.
- Independence from the e-mail service provider leaves one free to move elsewhere without the upheaval of remembering which accounts are linked to the old address or passing on a new address to all ones correspondents. Changing provider is sometimes a good move when an account is compromised or all e-mail lost with no backup available - it does happen.
- When a web site on which an address is registered is hijacked and the accounts stolen (as recently happened to LinkedIn, eHarmony & TechRadar amongst others) all other accounts with matching password become compromised. If you allocate a different e-mail address to each account this becomes a non-issue. You can check if your current address has been compromised at http://www.pwnedlist.com/
- This is also a useful barrier to otherwise unattributable spam.