Personally, I have more than 5 email accounts. But the fact is, I regularly use only 1, and seldomly use another 1. Meaning, the remaining more than 3 email accounts are there for fancy. I might go a year without logging into the account.
Many other internet users are like me. Compiling email accounts that they do not really need. However, when some starts to understand the concept of internet security and privacy, they begin to wonder. Should I still keep the email account I do not need or I should delete them?
Many rushes into deleting their email accounts, only to realize at a later time, that they need account from that email service provider, if they are to use some cool service they like. Hence, they will start the email reactivation process. Now, another question comes to mind.
Will the mails I had previously in this email account I am reactivating still be there? The answer, is NO.
If you are wondering why, let’s look at it from the perspective of the email service provider.
You have told them to delete your email account. Instead of removing all your mails from their servers, they kept it. Then they experienced a server breach, or someone stole your cell which you used to open then email account initially and with it, reactivated your email account. Then the email service provider thinking it’s you, restore all your previous important mail to the person.
How will you react?
So, you see, once you have deleted or deactivated your email account, the probability that you will get your mails back when you reactive the account is likely 0.
What About if an Email Service Provider Promises to Keep the Mails for Some Period of Time?
Well, if that is the case, then it is good news for you. But you should not rely on that. Why?
Their policies can change. And in some cases, these policies take effect less than 30 days from its initial announcement. What am trying to say is.
An email service provider might promise to keep your mail for 12 months after account deletion. But less than 3 weeks, they might change their mind and decide they will not be keeping it again. And since your account have been marked as deactivated, they might not bother about notifying you personally.
What You Should do.
If you know that none of the mails in your account is important enough for you to need it in the future, then, by all means please delete the email account that you think will be detrimental to your online privacy.
If you have even a little doubt about the importance of a mail in the account you want to delete, then do not delete the account. If you must, try and backup the mails you are having doubts about by forwarding them to another email service that you do not want to delete or deactivate soon.
Another thing you should consider doing before deleting your email account is notifying the people that have the address of the email you want to delete that they should contact you using your new mail instead.
If you think having to send a mail to all your contact notifying them about the new email address is stressful. Then instead of deleting the email account, deleted only the sensitive mails. Now set up an email responder that will automatically sand a reply to anyone messaging you via the old address, that you have a new email that you regularly. Hence you will appreciate them if they contact you with the new email next time.
Better still, some email client allow you to set up an auto forwarding feature, that will auto forward mails you receive from a specific mail to your new or regularly checked mail.
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