Since Hotmail launched the first free online email service in 1996, users from every country across the world have chosen an email address that suits their life at some point.

Many Telstra customers use free web-based email for a variety of reasons – and it’s likely that some of our customers would receive their Telstra bill – or other personal correspondence – to these free accounts. However, sometimes there’s a catch with ‘free’ accounts and it can very much be a case of use it or lose it or in this case use it, lose it and your email address may be up for grabs.

Yahoo! recently announced it would reallocate any email addresses that have been inactive for at least 12 months. While this may not be an issue for some users, there is the potential for the new owner of a reallocated email address to receive and access personal information that was intended for the previous user of that email address.

But there are some ways to keep your information safe when using a free email service:

  • Check what you have: make a list of all the free email accounts you have and what is being sent to them. You should also check with service providers to see what email contact they have for you and where they are sending your bills.
  • Delete any old accounts: you may have a sentimental attachment to, but if you haven’t used it in the past 12 months, it’s time to let it go. Remember to unsubscribe from any mailing lists and store any important information.
  • Stick with one email provider: pick one service and stick with it. This way you can easily monitor the account and not miss out on important emails.

If you do have your Telstra bills or other important information sent to a Yahoo! email addreses that you rarely check, take a look to check if the account is still active. You can also log onto My Account to update your email address with Telstra.