10 November 2016
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Q. I am wondering what is the best way to set up email addresses with a personalised domain name eg. john.doe@mypractice.com?

A. There are two separate pieces of work here.

The first is to purchase a domain name and the second is to get a contract with a service to host email for your domain. When it comes to hosting email, there are lots of security issues to consider. The last thing you want is for your email domain to be taken over by hackers, to become in effect a zombie server and a source of spam and malware for half the world.

You also have to consider your data protection requirements. The advice is to keep it local, do business with an Irish hosting company. Go to the website of the Irish Domain Registry and view their accredited registrar list. There are a number of Irish companies listed. It is easier to make contact with a company that will both register your domain name and also host your email service, for example Blacknight, based in Co Carlow. Any of the companies will assist you in registering a domain name. It's easy.

You have some decisions to make when it comes to the email service. How big do you want your inbox storage to be, how many email addresses do you need, do you want Microsoft Office software as part of the deal, how much money do you want to spend?

The best bet is probably to sign up for Microsoft Office 365 with your own domain name. Remember that when it comes to clinical email, you already have access to a safe and secure email service. Healthmail is available to all GPs and provides you with a personalised email address firstname.surname@healthmail.ie for communicating with clinicians in the HSE and all voluntary, children's and maternity hospitals.

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