I used to have an email address but it seems it has expired. Can this happen? is there an expiration date of an email?
Let me start with a cliche – ‘Nothing lasts forever’ – sorry, couldn’t help it. But it is a fact, everything will die or “expire” one day. And the same holds true for an email address too. Technically, it would be more correct to refer to an email account as “closed” or “deleted” instead of saying the email address has expired.
All email addresses have the format: someone@somewhere. The “someone” part is the ID (sometimes also called the username or account name) while the “somewhere” is the domain/server name. When an email account is closed, i.e., the user is removed, the email address becomes non-existent. Any correspondence sent to such an account would be returned to the sender.
Email addresses from the three most popular services, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, will not expire as long as you continue to use the account regularly. This is obviously assuming that the service itself keeps on running. However, each service has specified a period of inactivity. If you don’t log in once during this time period, the account will be closed and the email address will, thus, expire.
|Service||Time after which email will expire because of account inactivity|
|Yahoo! Mail||4 months|
Let’s look at it from their point of view of the service providing the free email account. If an account hasn’t been checked in many months, it means the user doesn’t care about it. Typically, the service deletes the email account to free up resources for other subscribers. Thus, to prevent your Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo email address from expiring, all you need to do it log in at your account at least once before the inactivity period ends.
As per the creator, Robert Morris, the Morris worm unleashed on November 2, 1988 was intended to measure the size of the Internet. It, however, caused upto a million dollars in damage. Morris was fined $10,000 with 3 years probation and 400 hours community service. [more...]