Email is not only a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, it can also save you time and energy by allowing you to provide contact information when signing up for services online (such as the NH COVID-19 vaccine sign-ups) rather than waiting your turn to speak to someone on an overburdened phone line.
But what if you’ve never had an email address before? How can you get one? If you have internet service at home, your service provider – such as Comcast or Fairpoint - may give you a free email address. If not, signing up for a free email address through services like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo is faster and easier than you might think.
Interested in an Outlook account instead? Visit their help page at to learn how to get started.
Yahoo.com is a third option. Their instructions are a little basic, and you will need a mobile phone number or a pre-existing email address to sign up. To learn more, visit the Yahoo Help Page.
Before You Sign Up
Before registering for an email address, take a minute to think about what that address will look like. It is very common these days to use a form of your name for your email address. This makes the email easy to identify as yours. However, keep in mind that email addresses need to be unique, and even if you have an uncommon name, it is possible that someone may have gotten there before you! Consider options like adding a middle initial, job title or hobby to your name for your email address. Alternatively, what numbers could you add that would be easy to remember? Avoid using your birthdate, address or any numbers that may give away sensitive identifying information or answers to security questions at your bank.
It’s a good idea to think about your password in advance too. Length is key for a secure password, as well as using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters like !, * or $. Consider using a pass phrase, rather than a password, to help generate length. For example, try “IReadL1braryBooks!” rather than “L1brary!” Whatever you choose, try to come up with something that’s easy to remember.
Looking for more help with email?
Visit the Bedford Public Library’s Selected Websites page and open the "Computers" section to find more help on GCFLearnFree.org and DigitalLearn. You can also use your library card number and password to log in to Lynda.com Library and search “email” to find a wide-ranging selection of email-related instructional videos.
Have questions? Need help navigating these resources? Please call (603) 472-2300 and ask for the Reference Desk. Or – once you have that email set up – try emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.