According to tech experts who say that if you slice and dice your email addresses the right way, you’ll not only declutter your digital life, but you will protect yourself better when it comes to phishing and financial scams.
How many email addresses do you have? If you’re like most Americans, you have two – personal and work. But there’s a large number – 28% – who have four or more email addresses. The privacy and scam experts that ConsumerAffairs spoke to were pretty much in agreement that the magic number is four or five email addresses and they’re shoulder to shoulder on what those addresses should be, too.
Wolfgang Goerlich insists a separate shopping — including for subscriptions and newsletters — email account is an absolute must. “For example, a shipping scam or invoicing scam sent to an email address not used for shopping is easily spotted,” he told ConsumerAffairs.
“Say one of your email addresses gets compromised because of clicking on a scam, or falling for a phishing email, the criminal wouldn’t be able to get into your bank if it’s through a separate address. And when a website or app gets breached, and they often do, it helps to keep things separate.”
Wolf’s Additional Thoughts
My recommendation is breaking email into: personal, professional, shopping, banking and finance, dating and relationships. Take that last category. People have been embarrassed, harassed, or even blackmailed when dating sites were compromised and their work email addresses were tied to those sites and leaked.
For the longest time, maintaining separate email addresses was a bit of a pain. You had to create them, remember to check them, and periodically clear out the inboxes. Today the major email providers make it easier to maintain several accounts. Moreover, on phones, it is easy to create separate email addresses for practically every website. Apple iPhone can do this natively with “hide my email” and Google Android devices can do this with third-party apps.
It’s never been easier to maintain a separation of email, and arguably, it’s never been more important to do so.