If youíre like me, you depend on email for everything. Although I certainly still appreciate the benefits of using snail mail, I also use email daily. Right now, my most widely used email account holds cherished emails from family and friends, important emails Iíve saved regarding financial and health information, photos of loved ones, and information from business contacts. If I lost all of those emails, Iíd be at a loss.
Fortunately, my email account isnít with Hotmail.
Do you have a Hotmail account? If so, you may already be aware of the major issues the Hotmail users have been facing since November 2010. Since then, Hotmail account holders have been complaining about a horrible problem Ė disappearing emails. Account holders log in only to find that their saved emails have vanished. Occasionally some of them have been inadvertently diverted to a ďDeletedĒ folder rather than organizational folders or their inbox.
In a statement primarily directed at their more than 350 million users, Microsoft claims that they are working on a fix for the aggravating problem. In their most recent statement, they also recommended Hotmail account holders make copies of their most important emails by copying them in a word processing program.
Apparently this isnít the first time Hotmail has had issues with their email services, but in any case, how can you protect your email account?
Hotmailís spokesperson actually made a valid suggestion: it is good to save copies of emails. Like people, computers and online services are not infallible. Human beings are imperfect, therefore, so are the things we design. Although relatively rare, email glitches do occur. Although they may be disheartening, they shouldnít be a complete surprise when they take place. Remember, hackers and spammers can negatively affect your email experience too. To ensure that your email experience is a safe and positive experience, be proactive.
- Choose a solid password made of a variety of characters. Although it may be harder to remember, make up a password of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also use upper and lower cases. Write it down and keep it on your desk (not your PC) for easy reference. Hereís an example: sAF8tY!
- Change your password often, but not necessarily frequently. Itís a good idea to vary your password every few weeks Ė make it a habit to change it every 6 weeks or so. Even changing your password by one digit is better than nothing.
- Copy and paste your emails outside of your email provider. If you have an email you just canít bear to lose, itís a great idea to simply copy and paste them into a word processing program. You can also save them to a folder on your desktop.
- Make good use of your printer. Although you may procrastinate because you donít feel like doing it, printing important documents is a great safety net. Pictures, documents, and important emails should be printed and filed away.
- Check for problems before they cause trouble for you. You can be proactive and check the Web for information regarding your email provider, spam, or viruses going around. It might even be a good idea to sign up for informational newsletters that provide warnings about current email threats. This site offers a monthly newsletter, with warning emails sent whenever thereís an immediate threat. You can click this sentence to sign up for my newsletter.