How Do I Open an Email Account?
Email addresses have become necessities today. Prospective employers want to receive your resumes via email and you need an email address to make purchases online. In fact, you may want more than one account. For example, you may want to set up one account that you only use for your purchases, or you may want a separate account for job searching. Since these things are so important, how can you get an email account?
If you pay for internet service, there is probably an email account attached. If you don’t or if you don’t want to use the email attached to the service, there are many free web based services. Yahoo, live.com (formerly hotmail), and Gmail are three of the most popular services. Each of the services has different strengths and weaknesses. You may find that one serves your needs better than another. In all cases, print out a copy of your information (including password, exactly as entered) and keep it securely with you.
Yahoo provides a portal to the Internet. This means in addition to providing you with an email address, your Yahoo ID gives you access to:
- And many other services
To get a Yahoo ID
- Go to: http://www.yahoo.com
- On the upper right where it says "Free mail" click on "Sign Up"
- Fill out the form:
- It will require your name, gender, birthday, the country where you live and your zip code.
- Select your ID:
- Use 4 to 32 characters and start with a letter. You may use letters, numbers, underscores, and one dot (.). Yahoo will give you suggestions if what you have chosen is taken.
- Keep it simple. For example, if you are going to use it for job searching, choose something professional like yourname1234.
- Choose a password:
- Capitalization matters. Use 6 to 32 characters, no spaces, and don't use your name or Yahoo! ID.
- To make your password more secure:
- Use letters and numbers
- Use special characters (e.g. @)
- Mix lowercase and uppercase
- You will be asked to retype your password.
- You will be asked for an alternate email. If you do not have another email address, you leave that space blank.
- Select one of the security questions in the drop down menu and answer it.
- Type the letters or numbers that appear in the box.
- Agree to Yahoo’s terms of service.
- Finally, click on the button that says “create account.”
Live.com, formerly known as hotmail, has new features that may be worth investigating. Since it is owned by Microsoft, its conventions are the same as Internet Explorer.
To get a Live account
Select "Get It."
You will have a form to fill out:
- Choose an ID and check for availability. If your selection is already taken, it will make suggestions.
- Choose a password.
- The password must be a minimum of 6 characters. They suggest:
- strong passwords (containing 7-16 characters)
- Do not include common words or names.
- Combine: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, or symbols.
- If you have another email address, give it to them. If you do not have one or you do not want to give them one that is okay.
- Select a question for them to ask if you need a new password and answer it.
- Fill in your name, gender, and location information.
- Type the characters that you see in the little box, or you can click on the audio symbol and listen to the numbers. Type the numbers that you hear. If you can't understand the audio, replay it or click the refresh button to hear a different set of numbers.
- Read the terms for having an account and click on the "I accept" button.
Gmail, owned by Google.com is the newest of the major free email services and offers different features. It organizes your email differently and includes different features.
To get a Gmail account:
Click on Sign up for Gmail
Fill out the registration form:
- Choose your ID – keep it simple, if you are going to use it for job searching, for example, choose something professional like yourname1234
- Choose a password that you will remember, but do not use proper names. Maybe mix up letters and numbers, and remember that capitalization matters.
- Make sure that the “remember me” features are NOT checked when using a public computer.
- Choose and answer the security question.
- Type in the letters or numbers that you see where it says "Word Verification."
- Agree to the Terms of Service and click on "I Accept. Create My Account."
- To verify your account, fill in mobile phone number and select whether you want a text verification or an automated voice phone call to give you your verification code.
If you need more assistance setting up an email account, please contact the Public Computer Center by email or in person at:
Public Computer Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201