Freedom to keep your e-mail address?


Moving Tip #28
Originally uploaded by RBerteig

Happy Independence Day!

 I’m at Lake of the Ozarks with the family.  Having originally lived in New York and having seeing the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration in New York harbor, I’m kinda jaded about any other celebration. However this isn’t about my move from New York to Kansas, it’s about clients freedom to move from Internet Service Providers and unable to move their email addresses.

Email addresses are like the cell phone numbers of the early 21st century.  Remember when you couldn’t switch providers without changing your cell phone number.  What a pain!  You had to let everyone know about your change.  Then came Number Portability at the end of 2003 and ended locking your number with a particular provider.  You are free to move to any mobile provider.

Unfortunately, no freedoms exist with email addresses.  When you leave your job, or current Internet Service Provider, there is no requirement that they forward your email to your new provider.  Some will do it, for a cost while others will only do it for a few months if at all.  Considering the average family moves every 5 to 7 years, that can mean an inordinate number of email address changes that are complete unnecessary.   People who have ISP independent email addresses like hotmail or gmail don’t have this problem, but you don’t always have complete control of these accounts and they are at a higher risk of hacking.  Also these email addresses look less professional.

There is a simple workaround:  buying your own “.com” (or .org, .net) name.  Such things are called Domain Names.  Instead of being Joeqpublic@aol.com, you can easily become joe@qpublic.com.  Domain names aren’t just for businesses but are becoming increasingly popular for families.  In fact, giving a domain name is a great gift for a wedding or a birth.

Domain names cost less than $5.00 a year and often include email.   Because you own the email address and the domain name, you can take it to any where you go.  If you switch from cable to DSL or vice versa, no problem.

Moreover, when you own your own domain name, you can have multiple email addresses at that same domain.  For example, you could have one that says shopping@qpublic.com for online purchases while lists@qpublic could be those email lists you occasionally check.  Families that buy a domain name such as qpublicfamily.com allows each family member to have their own email address.

If your email address is one of the common ones in Lawrence (ku.edu, sunflower.com, sbcglobal.net), it’s really time to free yourself. Declare your independence!

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