By: SUZY TURNER
Suzy Turner has lived in Portugal for 22 years and works as a freelance writer. As well as putting pen to paper for The Resident’s fashion section, she contributes to the parenting, beauty and travel columns. She is also our Features Editor.
OBTAINING AN email account might seem the easiest thing in the world for most of us, but there are a huge number of people who still do not understand how it is done.
Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and Lycos are just a few providers offering a free web-based email service that can be accessed anywhere in the world.
Subscribing to the service is actually very simple – the most complicated aspect is trying to find a name (ID) that is not in use elsewhere. As you can imagine, with the millions of users all over the world, the chance of actually finding [email protected], for example, is rather slim!
If you are intent on having your actual name in your email address, it might be easier to choose a lesser known email provider, or perhaps put ‘mr’ or ‘mrs’ in front of your name and try [email protected], for instance. Many people use their name, followed by their year of birth, [email protected] – although these days that is equally difficult to find. It’s also not ideal if you’re not too keen on revealing your true age! Be wary though that if you do use a lesser known provider, there is always the chance that they might not be as reliable as the global ones listed above. If they haven’t been around for long, there may also be a chance that they might not be around for very long in the future.
If you’re planning on using your email account to send and receive larger files, such as high resolution images, choose a provider that offers plenty of storage. In the ‘old days’, we had a limit of around six megabytes. Today, more and more are offering 250 megabytes or more.
It is also advisable to choose a provider that has a spam/junk mail filter, to avoid having to deal with those hundreds of nasty emails every day.
Once you’ve chosen your provider and found a suitable and available name, you will need to give a few personal details, such as address and password – the latter should be as original as possible for security reasons. Use letters and numbers, if possible, to make it more difficult for potential hackers to get into your account. There is usually a strange looking word in a box that you have to type in – which basically prevents people from creating fake accounts, apparently.
And that’s it… you can now start sending and receiving emails. I did say it was easy, didn’t I?
Check out Suzy’s blog at www.iberianbird.blogspot.com
A great website for movie and music fans on a budget is www.cd-wow.com
Not only does the site have a wide variety to choose from, and often at reduced prices, it also does not charge anything for postage and packing. If you’re in a hurry, then avoid buying from this site as, clearly, goods do take a little longer to arrive. But, for me, it’s well worth the wait.
A good read
A great site for book lovers is www.goodreads.com, a place where you can see what your friends are reading, jot down all the books you have read, all the ones you want to read and give reviews.
There are also hundreds of different book groups, around the world, to join and therefore this is a super place to meet people with the same taste in literature as you. The creators of goodreads.com began the site in order to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world.
A fantastic site I stumbled upon recently is www.kiva.org, which is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, giving individuals the chance to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world.
By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending. Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.