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Why it’s a good idea to have multiple email addresses ๐Ÿ‘

Compartmentalising multiple aliases is a crucial component for effective cybersecurity, and it’s a good idea to have multiple email addresses each with a separate categorisation of risk.

Most people have a single email address to handle all their affairs. I would like to propose that in the contemporary cybersecurity landscape, it’s important to have multiple email addresses.ย 

One of the key points I want to emphasise throughout this entire website is one of the key foundations for my cybersecurity strategy: security through compartmalisation. This means that we don’t have all our eggs in the one basket, and the compromise of one does not result in the compromise of all.

By adopting the practice of multiple email addresses, you effectively create distinct compartments for different aspects of your digital life. This strategic compartmentalisation ensures that a potential breach in one account does not lead to a domino effect, protecting your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

In this guide, I’ll share my reasoning for having multiple email addresses. Towards the end of the article, I will share the exact strategy I use to compartmentalise multiple email addresses.

My case for having multiple email addresses

Security through compartmentalisation

Compartmentalisation involves the strategic division of digital assets and activities into separate compartments or domains. This segmentation creates isolated zones, ensuring that a breach in one area doesn’t compromise the entirety of your digital presence. By adopting this divide-and-conquer mentality, individuals and organisations establish a multi-layered defense, fortified against potential threats that may exploit a single point of vulnerability.

If you only have one email address and it is compromised, hackers could destroy your entire digital life.

Maintain your privacy through alias management

The concept of digital privacy has become a precious commodity. Multiple email addresses empower you to maintain a degree of anonymity online. By compartmentalising your online presence, you reduce the risk of personal information leakage. This proactive approach not only safeguards your privacy but also minimizes the likelihood of your primary email address becoming a target for spammers and advertisers.

Enter alias management: the act of creating multiple unique personas, and protecting your personal information from big tech. I recommend setting up email addresses using fake names and email addresses, and using these for reserving tables at restaurants, subscribing to newsletters, and communicating with companies.

With that said, I strongly recommend using your real identity for more sensitive accounts, such as social media, government accounts, banking, and so on. This is useful in the event that you need to provide ID to recover an account.

Tailor your communications by preference

The cacophony of emails flooding your inbox can often lead to a chaotic and overwhelming digital experience. Multiple email addresses offer a symphony of organisation, allowing you to segment your communications based on context. Allocate separate addresses for professional endeavors, personal interactions, and online engagements, streamlining your inbox and enabling you to respond to messages with heightened efficiency.

Less viagra advertisements; less spam

The incessant deluge of spam emails is a common frustration in the digital realm. With multiple email addresses, you gain the ability to implement more nuanced and effective spam filters tailored to each account’s specific purpose. This not only declutters your primary inbox but also ensures that vital messages in other accounts are shielded from being overlooked amidst the noise of spam.

My proposed strategy for the containerisation of email addresses

I have categorised each email accounts in order to the appropriate threat level that should be adopted. Level One email accounts are vitally important to protect, and I recommend using a passphrase as opposed to a password, and using two-factor authentication. I also recommend using your real name and identity.ย 

Level Two accounts are for accounts that require moderate security, and moderate privacy. These accounts aim to balance both privacy and security and can be used for job applications, eCommerce, and communicating with others. I recommend using your real name.

Level Three accounts are extremely privacy focused, and you should not use your real name. These could be used for mundane activities such as reserving a table at a restaurant, subscribing to newsletters, and so on.

Level One: Government Communications and Banking using Gmail

This account should be used for Government Communications, Banking, and payslips from your employer.ย  Use a passphrase of at least 20 characters and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on.

I recommend using Gmail for these accounts for two reasons: Google is an established company, and therefore it’s unlikely that you would lose your account in the event of insolvency proceedings, a shutdown of the company, and so on.

Furthermore, Google offers excellent email security with the option to add two-factor authentication, logs, and more. Google certainly isn’t the most private email marketing solution, however privacy is not my main concern here.

You will need to use your real name in these email accounts, hence why I am not overly concerned about the privacy tradeoffs of using Google to provide your email accounts.

Level One: Social Media Accounts using Gmail

There is a limit to how many Google Accounts you can have registered under the same mobile number, however you are allowed to have two Gmail addresses registered to the same phone number.

This level one account should be reserved exclusively for social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin, among others. However, you should never share this email address publicly on your account or with other people

I recommend using your real name on this account. After all, privacy is not a concern here: using social media comes at the expense of your privacy.

Level Two: eCommerce, communicating with others, and job applications

This level two email account is for moderate privacy, and moderate security. I recommend using Proton Mail for this account.ย This email address should be used for activities such as online transactions, communicating with others, and applying for jobs. You can expect to receive marketing communications to this email address and outreach from recruiters, and this email address would be much more exposed to others than your Level One email accounts.

Level Three: alias email accounts

This level three email account could be used for creating accounts on multiple services (such as Canva, etc), reserving tables at restaurants, and registering for apps on your mobile phone. This is a privacy optimised website, so please use an alias name for this account such as John Doe. Your privacy is the main concern with alias email accounts.

I recommend using Proton Mail or Tutanota for these email accounts.

Level Three: throwaway accounts

Finally, you can use throwaway emails for registering for unknown services that you only plan on using once. A throwaway email account can be used to sign up for a service and then you never need to use it again.

You can use services such as Temp Mail to do this, or simply search ‘throwaway email accounts’ and you will find multiple services offering temporary email account services.

Wrapping it all up...

The principle of Security through Compartmentalisation stands as an enduring safeguard. By embracing the philosophy of divide, protect, and defend, individuals and organisations fortify their digital landscapes against the relentless tide of cyber threats, establishing a resilient foundation for a secure and interconnected future.

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