Webmail the answer for disaffected Xtra customersBLAYNE SLABBERT
This year didn't start well for Telcom YahooXtra email users as another burst of spam hit their inboxes.
It is the latest of several attacks over the past year that has dented the faith people have in the popular service.
There are about 450,000 accounts with the service which has been hijacked and used to send out spam emails containing links to malware-infected webpages.
The problem continues to stump Telecom, but it is possible to fix it yourself by changing to a web-based email service.
This would involve getting a new email address but the pain of change would be softened by knowing it'll be yours forever.
Web-based emails use a website as a portal to your account, rather than your email app downloading messages from an internet provider's server.
The two big contenders are:
This is one of the most popular web-based email service. It is slick and easy to use and synching with computer, phone or tablet apps is easy.
It has a simple interface that can be customised and it is easy to filter out emails that you don't want to see.
It also has a built-in chatting feature and it's Skype-like Google Hangouts is great.
For extra security, Google also offers a two-step verification service for Gmail that requests a validation code which can be sent to you via text message.
Also, because it is a Google product you can use your Gmail login for YouTube, Calendar, Drive and other services.
Outlook is the replacement for the once-popular Hotmail. It's owned by Microsoft so if you are a fan you'll love this as you can use SkyDrive and Office Web Apps with it.
It has virtually unlimited storage and it also allows you to import your Facebook contacts and chat with the Messaging feature.
Like, Gmail, it is easy to use and has a great looking interface.
There are other services to consider including GMX (good, but no better than Gmail or Outlook), Yahoo Mail (might be tarnished by your current experience), Mail.com (has a cool domain name), Facebook (if you have an account, you have a Facebook email address) and Hushmail (for the security conscious).
HINTS AND ADVICE
If you do decide to sign up to a new service, put an out-of-office reply on your Xtra account telling people you have a new email address.
Also, make sure you choose a tough password for your account and not an easy-to-guess word such as "password".
You can access your email account from anywhere on any device It is each to sync your new account with your preferred email app on your computer.
You can keep the new account if you change internet service providers.
They are free.
They have their own dedicated mobile apps.
You don't have to install anything on your computer.
They tend to have better spam filters.
- © Fairfax NZ News