Email addresses are a central part of everyday modern life. You likely already understand the need for an email account, but you may not realize you should have more than one.
There are nearly one and a half times as many email addresses as there are users. This number suggests that while many people have multiple accounts, plenty of users still have just one. While it may seem unnecessary at first, it’s a good idea to have at least two separate emails.
Having More Than One Email Improves Security
The most important reason to have at least two emails is for security. If you use the same address for every website, it will only take one breach to compromise all your accounts. By contrast, using multiple will limit how much damage a hacker can do by breaking into one email account.
Having two or more emails also helps you set up two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is one of the best security steps you can take, as it means cybercriminals need more than just a username and password to break into your accounts. With two emails, you can use one address as the second login factor for the other.
As cybercrime keeps growing, these security steps are becoming all the more important. Having multiple email accounts may not be as critical a step as varying your passwords, but it’s still a best practice.
Multiple Accounts Help Organization
On a less serious note, having several email addresses makes navigating your inbox more manageable. The average internet user has 150 online accounts — and that doesn’t include other things you may use your email for, like communication. Using just one account to manage all of that can make it hard to find what you’re looking for.
If you have multiple email addresses, you can divide your accounts and communications between them. With one address for personal use and one for work, you’d know you should only look in your business inbox for anything related to your job.
Using different emails for different purposes provides another layer of organization on top of the folders your inbox already has. You can find what you need faster and ensure nothing gets lost in the mess.
How Many Email Accounts Do I Need?
It’s essential to have more than one email address, but beyond that, how many accounts do you need? The answer will vary depending on your situation.
At the very least, you should have two separate emails. If you have many online accounts, deal with some sensitive information or are more concerned about security, you may want more. Here’s how you can divide these up.
1. Sensitive Accounts
One of your email addresses should be for any sensitive account information. This should be the email you use for online banking, taxes and similar tasks that deal with critical, highly private data.
It’s vital not to use this address for anything else. That way, you can easily spot phishing attempts — the most common cybercrime type — as anything not directly related to your finances.
Your second address should be for personal communication. For many people, this is the only other account you need, though having more can be helpful. This email handles all of your messages with family and friends — or you can use it as the base for your social media profiles.
You can set up a dedicated work address if you want to divide your emails further. Keeping business-related communications separate from your personal conversations is particularly important if you use email often at your job.
Remember that your email address can subtly influence hiring managers and affect your image as a business person. Consequently, if your personal address doesn’t look professional, it’s best to make a new one for work.
4. Marketing and Spam
Some people may even want to create a fourth email account. This address should be the one you use for making miscellaneous accounts, signing up for giveaways and similar activities. These kinds of signups tend to flood your inbox with marketing messages and spam, so using a dedicated email address for them can help keep your other inboxes clean.
Having More Accounts Makes Things Easier
You should have at least two email accounts: one for sensitive information and one for personal communication. To separate your emails further, you can also add an account for work and an account for marketing and spam.
Whether you have just two addresses or more, dividing your messages between emails is a good idea. As more people’s lives center around email, this separation becomes increasingly important.
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