It’s easy and free to set up a new email address. The best way to do this is to set up something called a webmail account. This is a type of email account that you can access from any computer by logging into your account securely.
We recommend going for webmail every time - avoid setting yourself up with an email address provided by your broadband company instead, as this effectively ties you in to using their service when you may one day wish to switch.
Typical webmail services include Google’s Gmail (gmail.com) and Microsoft’s Outlook.com (outlook.com). They’re both reliable, free choices.
How do I choose an email address?
Up to a point, you’re free to make up whatever address you’d like. Typically, you use your own name, and the remainder of the address is provided by the email service itself.
For example, your new email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org if you chose to create a Google Gmail account.
However, a common name may already be taken, so you may need to add a number or a middle name to distinguish the new address as a unique one. You can’t create the same email address as anyone else in the world, even if they have exactly the same name as you!
The system will warn you if an email address is already taken, and it will even suggest variants you can use instead.
What about choosing an email password?
It’s very important to set up a secure password for your email address, and it’s a bad idea to make it something that is to easy to guess.
While it’s unlikely that an individual will target your account, there are automated hacking systems that will attempt to hack email accounts en masse. Once they’re in, they can create mischief, such as sending spam emails.
Avoid using your own surname, your date of birth, the word ‘password’ or simple number combinations such as ‘12345’ or ‘0000’. All of these are easy to hack.
At the same time, don’t choose a password so complex that you’ll never remember it! Pick something that’s unique to you, and combine letters and numbers or symbols to make it harder to crack.