Saturday, September 24, 2016

Moving to a new email address

Step 1.  Create a new free email address.  Your current address is a liability.

Open a new Gmail account.

Why Gmail?
  • Ability to set long and therefore strong passwords.
  • Guide for setting strong passwords.
  • Two-step verification available.
  • Spoofing protection.
  • Email alerts for unusual account access.
  • Superb spam filtering.
Do not set your spoofed email address as an account-recovery email address.

Step 2.  Consider using web mail instead of an email program because you can skip this step.  Web mail is fast and easy and portable.  You'll be able to access your email from any computer when travelling.

If you prefer to use an email program to read your email, configure it to use the new email account.  Instructions here:

Step 3.   Generate a list of all email address in your current account.

If you are using a Virgin Media email address, log in to web mail, and look for the Contacts feature.  Use it to export a list of all of the email addresses found in your account.  [Need detailed instructions for this please.]

Mark those addresses which are associated with financial businesses and purchases.  These are the first relationships you want to change to the new email address to prevent the spammers from being able to use your current account to access other accounts using password-retrieval links.

Step 4.  Update your email address for businesses with financial interactions.

For every email address associated with financial interactions, for example, online banking or purchases where you have stored a credit card, log into the associated web site and change your contact email address to the new one.

Step 5.  Decide if you want to forward email from the old account to the new account.  The advantage of forwarding email from the old account is that you will not need to log into the old account.  The disadvantage is that the backscatter emails (messages about emails the spammers are sending which cannot be delivered) will now appear in the new account and may make it hard to see your real email.

[Instructions for how to set email forwarding for a Virgin Media account.  Please help with details.]

Step 6.  Write to your friends and colleagues to let them know the new address.  Do this from the new account.  The old account is an unsafe place to continue your correspondence.

Step 7.  Put an auto-reply message on the spoofed account.  Here is suggested text:

I am sorry to report that this email address has been hijacked by spammers who are using it to send spoofed spam to all addresses found in the account. I have reported this problem to my email provider and have moved to a new email address at <new address>. Please create a filter which will delete all messages which appear to come from this address since I will not be sending any messages from it. If you would like to help resolve this problem, please forward any spam you receive which appears to come from my Virgin Media address to, the United States Federal Trade Commission.

[Instructions for how to apply an auto-reply message for a Virgin Media account please.]

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