questionshow do i "clean up" an email account?

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if you're already getting a ton of spam, it's going to be difficult at best. you could fiddle with the filter settings, but i'd watch the spam folder like a hawk. especially if you're using this address on your resume.

does your school allow alumni to keep their .edu addresses? just asking because places let you keep it for a year. i apparently fell through the cracks and kept mine for about 10 years. however, they transitioned the account to google services. so, i can still have email sent to my .edu address, but i access it through google. it might be worth checking if your school does something like that.

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@carl669: I can keep my .edu account for 2 years, but I want a "lifetime" address.
I just want to be able to give the address out to people, and know that they can mail me in the future.
I know, I messed up.

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Why not create another MSN account and just change the address to be either your first initial and last name, or fist name last name. Whichever one you are not using now? Either way I think it would still look professional.

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And honestly, I don't even bat an eye anymore at email addresses like gmail, etc. People use them constantly so I don't think there really is any stigma anymore in using those in a professional setting.

Setup a gmail account with something like firstname.lastname or whatever and go from there.

Or get really professional and buy a domain name and then just setup an email address there and forward it to whatever email address you want. I have 2 domains like that. Nothing at all on those sites so no yearly hosting fees but I have "myname@domain" email accounts setup for both that forward to my personal gmail address.

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@jmattoon: Agreed, I have an email account specifically for business related things. Never sign up for anything with it.

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@atd15: Trust me on this one. There is no such thing as a lifetime email address. There was a time when certain usernames were only associated with a particular person (such as "spaf" for Gene Spafford, or "esr" for Eric Raymond), but even that is long gone. Gmail really has the best spam filters, and that's probably your easiest bet.

Just make sure that you only use the account for professional purposes, and you'll be fine.