How to create (and use) a new email address

Lisa Whelan

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An email address is your portal to the internet. Without one, you can’t use most of the services available on the web. Research from the Radicati Group shows that most of us have multiple email addresses(new window), with the number of addresses per email user increasing year-on-year. So whether you’re creating your very first email account, or just need a new one for a specific purpose, it’s important that you choose the right email service and address for your needs. 

Why create a new email account?

People are increasingly likely to create multiple email addresses to individually manage their sensitive information, online shopping confirmations, and professional lives, while using yet another separate one for communicating with friends and family, and other more informal activities. 

Having multiple email accounts is very useful for your security, as it reduces the risk of identity fraud, and minimizes the amount of data compromised in the event that one of your accounts is hacked (for example, if someone got the password to one of your email accounts, the data in your other accounts would still be secure).

Choose an email service provider

The first step to creating a new email address is to choose the email service that is right for your requirements. Any email service you choose should meet the same basic requirements of security and usability, but depending on what you want to use your email account for, you may need additional features. The most important things to look for in an email service are listed below.

Secure email

No matter what you want to use your email for, choosing a secure email service(new window) should be your number one priority. The most secure email services use end-to-end and zero-access encryption to protect your emails, making them much safer from hackers and data breaches (such as those experienced by all three billion Yahoo user accounts between 2012 and 2016(new window)).

Read our guide to find out more on the importance of end-to-end email encryption(new window)

Easy-to-use email apps

If you are not going to use a third-party email client for your new email address, you should also ensure that the email service you choose has an easy-to-use native app(new window) for your mobile devices. This will help you avoid having to navigate your new email account within a mobile browser.

Private signup

If you are creating a new email address to keep your different online accounts unlinked, or want to be more private on the internet, then you should choose an email service that requires the least amount of personal data from you on signup. Some email services, such as Gmail, will ask for lots of your personal data in order to let you create an email account, including full name, date of birth, gender, and phone number. In contrast, Proton Mail asks for no personally identifiable information, only an email address or phone number, which is briefly held in order to prevent abuse and to verify that you are human.

Professional email domain

Unless you are going to use a custom domain(new window) for your email account, you should also consider the domain address of the email service you are using, as this will act as the suffix of your email address. Some domains, such as AOL or Hotmail(new window) are seen as informal or outdated, and can affect the way your recipients regard your email. This is particularly important if you will be using your new email address in the search for a new job, or other professional activities. Instead, you should choose an up-to-date email service that shows you take care with your communication.

The proton.me domain is the most widely used encrypted email domain in the world, making it recognizable and suitable for professional use.

Simple email domain

If you will be giving your email address to a lot of people verbally, you will also want to choose an email service that offers a domain that is easy to remember and understand. This will help prevent people from writing your contact information down incorrectly, or forgetting it altogether.

At Proton Mail, all accounts receive an email address with the domain proton.me, as well as the shorter and simpler proton.me/mail email domain.

Learn how to activate your proton.me/mail email address here.(new window)

How to create an email address

Once you have chosen a secure, easy-to-use, and appropriate email service (like Proton Mail), it’s time to create your new email address and set up your account.

Sign up for a new email account

Before you choose your new email address, you need to sign up for an account. Different email services will ask for different amounts of information, but at Proton Mail you only need to select your username and provide a method of verification (either an email address or a phone number). Sign up for a free Proton Mail account.

How to choose the right email address

During the signup process, you will be asked to choose a username. This name will become the prefix of your new email address, e.g., if your username was example, your email address would be example@proton.me

Choosing a good email username should follow the same process as choosing a good email domain. You should choose a username that is simple and easy to understand, especially if you will be sharing it with people verbally or writing it out manually, e.g., the username examp1e could be easily mistaken for example.

You should also consider the purpose of your new email address when choosing a username. For example, if you want to use an email specifically for job applications, you should choose a formal and to-the-point username. Avoid putting too much personality or flair into your username, such as x_proton_is_cool_x, and opt for something memorable and mature, like your name.

In fact, research published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking(new window) found that your email username can have a direct impact on your chances of being considered for a new job, reporting that “the hireability ratings regarding the resumes with informal email addresses were significantly lower … than the hireability ratings regarding resumes that featured a formal email address”. In this study, having an informal email address was reported as having as strong an effect on hireability as the presence of spelling errors.

Choosing a good username can be difficult, as many of the simpler usernames may already be taken by others. In many cases, when you are setting up your new email address, you may have to try a few ideas or iterations before you find a unique name that you’re happy with.

Use a strong password

Once you have set up your username, you’ll need to create a strong password(new window). This is the number one action you can take to make sure your new email account remains secure. Your password should be unique to your email account (that is, not one that you use to log in to anything else), difficult to guess, and either easy to remember or securely stored. A good way to manage your passwords and to make sure you don’t forget them is to use a reputable password manager(new window).

How to create a new email address in an existing email account

You may want to simply set up another email address for an email account you already have, or use multiple email addresses in your new email account. With Proton Mail, you can set up multiple email addresses on the same account, and you can also use email aliases. Both of these options will give you multiple addresses that you can use for different purposes. 

Click here to read more about multiple addresses and email aliases.(new window)

How to set up your new email inbox

Now that you have created your new email account, it’s a good idea to get a sense of all the features that will let you use your new account efficiently. There are also steps you can take to ensure you appear more formal — for example, if you will be using your new email account for professional reasons like applying for jobs or to email clients.

(new window)

Set a display name

When you send an email, your display name is the name that shows up in the From field in your recipient’s inbox. If you do not set up a username, only your email address will show in that field. Unlike your username, your display name is not constrained by whether or not someone else is using it. Your display name can also use spaces, unlike your username.

Unless you want to use your email address to disguise your true identity, we recommend using your name as your display name, especially if you are using the account for professional or formal purposes. 

For step-by-step instructions on setting up your display name, read our support article(new window).

Set up an email signature

In Proton Mail, you can set up your email signature on the same page that you create your display name. Setting up an email signature is a good way to sign off all your emails in a uniform way, and if you are using your new email account to manage a club or organize your business, you can use the email signature field to brand your emails and look more professional.

Migrate your old emails

If you want to use your new email address as your primary email address, you may want to import your old emails into your new inbox. With Proton Mail, you can use the Import Assistant(new window) or the Import-Export app(new window) (if you have a Plus plan) to smoothly transfer emails from your old email account to your new one.

Check out the extra features

Now you have your display name and email signature, you’re ready to start sending and receiving emails. However, staying on top of your inbox can be a daunting task, especially if you want to use your account for multiple purposes. A few extra features you can find in Proton Mail that will help you organize your inbox include:

For more tips for organizing your inbox, check out our seven handy tips(new window).

Why create a new email account with Proton Mail

We believe that everyone should have the right to free, private, and easy-to-use email. That’s why we have built Proton Mail so that anyone can use it, regardless of technical ability, and still benefit from full end-to-end and zero-access encryption. Today, Proton Mail is the world’s largest encrypted email service. You can sign up for a new email account with Proton Mail here.

Protect your privacy with Proton
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Lisa Whelan

Lisa is an activist, writer, and internet privacy advocate. A defender of the right to privacy for people everywhere, Lisa joined Proton to spread awareness and further enable freedom online.

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