Choice of email is a personal preference, so when I was asked which email provider someone should change to after their account was hacked it got me thinking, I have many accounts, one each with the big providers (Apple Google, Microsoft and Yahoo) and each have their advantages, so one you like has to be the factor and if you have been using one particular email provide for a number of years you are less likely to want to change, the helpful suggestions will come from how you use the service.
Having separate email accounts for personal correspondence, and one to use when you sign up to things that require an email address. To me this is the key not only for de-cluttering my inbox, but also my sanity, my close friends and family have my main account and this is installed on all my devices with the appropriate notifications, my “secondary” account is used when I need to sign up to an online service, track delivers of items ordered, or generally when ever I think the company that is going to email me is not important enough to warrant immediate action. This also has the added bonus that I am not checking every email alert that comes to my phone to the annoyance of my family.
Have a secure, complex password that is not reused else where, is vital, there is no point having the best locks on your house if you leave they under your mat, a strong password should ideally include numbers and letters as the minimum, more and more providers are letting you add special characters as well, the word should not be from the dictionary, should not be a common occurrence (12345, qwerty etc) and most importantly is should only be known to you, so that means no sharing accounts with others. Another trick is that you could “salt” the password with details of the website that it is used for! for example [email protected] and [email protected] as most scammers will use an automated script to try passwords rather than typing them in manually on multiple websites.
Also a key factor would be always using encrypted sign in when available, going to https://mail.yahoo.co.uk is better than http://mail.yahoo.co.uk as on the latter site the password is transmitted in what is known as cleartext, where as the https site uses SSL/TLS technology which uses asymmetric cryptography to assure that the authentication is with trusted parties, although the recent Heartbleed security vulnerability has shown this in itself is not always perfect.
I would always use a mixture of these principles when it comes to passwords, as education rather than switching providers will always be my preference.