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Tagi Ragnad




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Published on: 13 Mar 2018 by tagiragnad

Ditch your Hotmail account, don’t print your emails and embrace emojis: How to make sure you're NOT an online OAP

Still having a Hotmail account can mark you out as being unsavvy and bumbling online.

That seems to be the conclusion of car insurers, including Admiral, which last month offered a more expensive premium to an undercover reporter via Hotmail than when they asked for the same quote using a trendier Gmail account.

How we behave online — the sites we visit, comments we leave, email address we use — is increasingly important if you want to be viewed as go-getting and with it.

It’s not just potential employers who scour your online profile to assess your capabilities. Companies, friends, even your own children peering over your shoulder, tend to make judgments about your age and faculties based on what you do online.

So, if you want the internet to treat you seriously — and give you a good deal — here’s how to anti-age yourself online...


Email domains — the part after the ‘@’ — are a giveaway as to when and how you got your first email address.

Hotmail doesn’t mark you out as especially unsavvy, as insurance companies claim, though it has a poor reputation due to the volume of junk mail it allows in your inbox. Many still have a login address because the company, part of Microsoft, was one of the first to offer free email, in the late Nineties.

The real sign you are not with it is having a BT or Tiscali account, because it suggests you only got email when you got the internet at home (the domains came as part of your internet package) — not when you were a student or an employee.

The worst are the now redundant Ntlworld, Blueyonder, Wanadoo or Freeserve accounts, all domains that were set up by old internet service providers. Over time, they have been bought out by bigger internet providers, notably Virgin or EE.

These new owners have shut down the old addresses, insisting you move onto a more up-to-date Virgin or EE account.

Tip: Open a Gmail account. It’s part of Google and is the easiest and slickest of all. It allows you to import all your contacts from another account, including Hotmail login.


You may think [email protected] is touching proof you believe in till death us do part, but to everyone else a shared email account is a sign you haven’t realised an email address is very different to a postal address. Having no secrets from your spouse is a wonderful part of marriage. But other people, be they your in-laws or businesses, may want to communicate only with you, not your other half.

Likewise, it is deeply confusing to receive an email in which Bob from the golf club asks where he can buy that lovely shade of lipstick he’s seen you in — before you find it’s signed ‘Ange’, Bob’s wife.

Tip: Set up your own accounts.


Printing out emails so you can read them more easily is not just a waste of time and (ludicrously expensive) printer ink. It is a sign you hark back to the days when faxes were cutting edge. Likewise, train, plane and cinema tickets can be downloaded to your phone and scanned on its screen.

Tip: If you are struggling to read an email, or indeed anything on your phone, you can increase the typeface size. On an iPhone go to the settings section, press ‘general,’ ‘accessibility’, then ‘larger text’ then select the size you want.

On a Samsung device you also need to press settings (the icon that looks like a cog), then ‘display and wallpaper’, then ‘font’. Then choose the size you want.

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