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Of course, teens aren’t the only ones using free accounts. As early as 2008, Windows Live Hotmail had surpassed 270 million accounts. Granted, some of
those accounts may have been dormant opened by users who then forgot their passwords or simply never bothered to use the accounts. Still, the number of
actual users for freebie accounts is pretty substantial.
Free email account A web-based email account you can access from anywhere and that isn’t tied to your Internet Service Provider ISP.
Another reason to use a free account is to keep SPAM away from your “real” email. Many online services require that you provide a valid email address. Hav-
ing a freebie account is useful for all those times when you’re required to provide a valid email address, and you don’t really want the junk email that often follows
even when you uncheck the box that says “Yes, please send me additional offers and information”. Using a free account lets you route that SPAM away from the
important email in your ISP account. Because they are so overwhelmed by SPAM for millions of users, free account providers also do a fairly good job of killing the
SPAM routed there. There are several advantages to this. Because the free accounts are web-based services, you’re not wasting bandwidth or time downloading mes-
sages that you’re only going to delete. Also, the free services spend a lot of time and effort keeping their SPAM filters up to date with the latest tricks the spammers
are using. Identifying all those key words, etc. to define as filters in your own email program like Outlook would take you an awful lot of time. Yahoo mail claims
to identify 95 of SPAM messages which it immediately dumps into a Bulk email folder that users can delete sight unseen.
Using free accounts to avoid SPAM or check email from summer camp can be use- ful. That’s not true about using free accounts to avoid Internet monitoring. Obvi-
ously, it’s easy to create accounts on friends’ systems and have free accounts on the Internet so your parents don’t monitor you. But if you’re going around the controls
in your home to get to the Internet, you need to ask yourself some tough questions about why you are doing that in the first place.
Regardless of whether you use a free email account or your home email, you need to remember that communicating over the Internet is not secure. That racy email
you deleted from your Sent folder could live on sitting on your email provider’s
Friends, Creeps and Pirates
web server for years after you’ve forgotten what you said or why you said it. Even web pages that have been deleted eons ago still exist on backup tapes and search
engine archives. Electronic data never really goes away. It just becomes a little bit harder to find. For this reason, you should NEVER write an email, send an
instant message, or transmit a picture over the Internet that you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Truthfully, you shouldn’t say or post anything online that you
wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or the National Enquirer