You can probably guess the age of anyone who has an email address that ends in aol.com or yahoo.com. They were around when the “Information Superhighway” . . .Continue reading
Verizon Forcing Email Decision; We Recommend You Exit
Verizon is dripping out the announcement that it will migrate its email business to AOL, which the communications giant acquired in 2015. It’s a rolling process that will take place over the next several months, and everyone will get specific instructions based on your account. Your clock will start ticking when you get an email notification from Verizon, and you’ll have the choice of: 1.) migrating to AOL and keeping your Verizon email address or 2.) exiting to an email provider such as Outlook or Gmail. When you get your email, you’ll have a short time to make your decision. If you don’t choose one option, you’ll lose access to your “verizon.net” account. Here’s why you should take the second option.
Keep in mind that you can make the switch from Verizon now and retain access to your Verizon contacts and messages for six months. If you don’t decide, Verizon will close out your email accounts. If you have copiers, scanners, servers and other equipment that rely on email addresses to function, those devices will stop working after you choose your options or your time runs out.
We think Verizon is leading a move by utility companies – phone and cable carriers – to get out of the email business because it’s too complicated and time-consuming to provide as a free service. Just to get this out of the way, Verizon’s first option, switching to AOL, is less complicated right now. You’ll be able to keep your existing addresses, with “verizon.net,” but you can keep your addresses and log in through AOL’s system from now on. That might be a temporary solution because you can keep all your contacts.
But we don’t like it for the long term. While you may think that you’re getting a lot of spam now through your Verizon filters, we think that will increase with AOL. Spam is more than a nuisance; it’s a way for hackers to get into your system. Although you can catch most hacking attempts with common sense, hackers know that if they throw enough spam at you, one of them will get past even the most vigilant user. We don’t think security is a major concern. AOL tightened up its security after it was hacked in 2014, before Verizon bought it.
However, we think the “utility company” extensions will disappear as those companies get out of the email business. That means you’ll need to make a switch at some point, and it makes sense to do it now, before you add more contacts. Switching now may make particularly good sense for copier and scanning companies and other similar service providers that use email addresses. We’ve had some Verizon email addresses for some services, and we’re moving away because those addresses will disappear at some point.
We recommend switching to an email provider that will be in the business for the long term, such as Outlook or Gmail. You should be able to keep that address for as long as you like. Besides not having to worry about losing the email address, you’ll gain much more flexibility in shopping for a new ISP. We know it’s a hassle to move all your contacts and messages and tell people your new address. It’s also a pain when people don’t update their own contact lists or when autofill puts in an old address. For all those reasons, you might as well start to move away from Verizon/AOL, as well as from any other utility.
The two email services that come to mind are Outlook and Gmail. In listing the option to move away, Verizon tells you to follow the instructions from your new provider. You could also get your own domain and have that hosted through Outlook or another email service provider. You can keep your domain for as long as you like, and because you’ll be hosting it and calling the shots, you can do away with the advertising that seems to be more prevalent and more annoying.
Regardless of which new provider you choose, you’ll need to establish your new email address and set up your mailbox – or mailboxes – before you close out your old one. Then, you can follow the steps to transfer addresses and messages and set up your rules for how you manage messages.
We can help you in two ways:
- Choose an email provider: Outlook and Gmail are two that come to mind, but there are many others, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, depending on what you need. We can review the ways you access email, such as a computer, phone or tablet, and whether you need integration and/or collaboration tools.
- Set up your new account and transfer all the data: This is extremely critical. Although your new service will have instructions and although you’ll be able to find help through online forums, it’s not always easy to get right settings for your new account and then transfer your contacts and messages. It’s also not easy to back up all of contacts and messages. If you don’t have an accessible back-up and you make a mistake in the transfer process, you could need to jump through hoops to get it all done – at the least – or lose everything – your worst-case scenario.
If you have a “verizon.net” email address, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us as soon as you get a notice to discuss your options (keep your address, keep your address temporarily or switch immediately to a new email service). If you have an April 13 deadline approaching, and you need to have a plan in order now. If you didn’t get an email, you will, and you’ll need to be prepared to make important decisions quickly. It wouldn’t hurt to start planning now. You can spend hours and hours of frustration solving this issue, or you call us to handle your transition without stress.
Convert your AOL Username to an Apple ID
If you use an AOL Username to sign in to the iTunes Store, App Store or iBooks Store, you must convert to an Apple ID before March 31, 2015. Starting that day, AOL will no longer allow customers to use their AOL Usernames (also known as an AOL Screen Name) to sign in. Without converting to an Apple ID, you’ll lose access to the stores and any content you may have already purchased.
To convert your AOL Username to an Apple ID, sign in to iTunes on a Mac or PC with your AOL Username. Then follow the on-screen instructions. To sign in:
- Open iTunes on your Mac or PC. Make sure that you have the latest version.
- If you’re signed in with a different username, choose Store > Sign Out from the menu bar.
- Then choose Store > Sign In.
- Enter your AOL Username and password, and then click Sign In.
- Create an Apple ID
When you convert your AOL Username to an Apple ID, you might not be able to convert it to one that ends in @aol.com if you have used your AOL email address to create a separate Apple ID.
Your new Apple ID will maintain your access to the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store, as well as all of the content you bought using your AOL Username. You can also use your Apple ID with iCloud and other Apple services.
As of March 31, Apple can’t provide support for AOL Username accounts that aren’t converted. The conversion process applies only to AOL Usernames. You don’t need to convert an Apple ID that ends in @aol.com. Also, this transition doesn’t affect any AOL services that you use with your AOL Username.
If you already created an Apple ID using your AOL email address, you might have purchases (such as music, movies, TV shows, or apps) associated with both your AOL Username account and your Apple ID.
You still need to convert your AOL Username account into a new Apple ID, so you don’t lose access to the content you already purchased with that account. You must provide a different, non-AOL email address to use as your new Apple ID during the conversion process. You won’t be able to combine the two accounts or their purchases.
If you run into any problems or have any concerns about converting your AOL username to an Apple ID, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us. We can walk you through the process.