13 March 2017
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Q. One of my email accounts delivers lots of spam and malware to my inbox. How do I close an email account?

A. If you are paying a subscription for the email account, then cancel the subscription so that it does not review each year. However, most email accounts are free, so you will need to
consider some steps at your end to abandon the account. Here is what you need to do:

  • Look over the past six to 12 months of the toxic account and see what individuals, services or mailing lists come in on the account
  • For the individuals who communicate with you on the account, send them an email, using blind carbon copy (BCC) rather than carbon copy (CC), to let them know that you are closing this account from a date in the future and give them your alternative email address
  • If you have services linked to the account, log into these individually and change the email address for the service
  • From the designated date, walk away from the account. Don't check it, don't download any emails. Over time the inbox will fill up and then users will get a bounce message
  • Don't put a notification message on the old email account saying you are changing to a new account and providing the new account. Spammers will harvest the new email address and you will be back to square one
  • The more established email services such as Gmail or Microsoft Office 365 tend to manage spam and malware better
  • Remember that Healthmail is a great option for communicating safely and securely with HSE, hospital and GP colleagues. See www.healthmail.ie.
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