PASSING STRANGE

Readers who don’t use Gmail accounts have written us to complain that junk mail is overloading their in-boxes.

Gmail is the best junk remover in the known universe and you don’t have to give up your old email account to use it. You can bring your old account into the Gmail window and even respond using that email address. (No one but you will know.) In Gmail, all spam goes directly into a folder that is cleared every 30 days. Joy currently has 4,327 emails in her spam folder, none of which she will bother to look at. They will go the way of all spam.

The first few days on Gmail you should check the spam folder just to be sure it’s behaving properly and not dumping mail you want. After that, forget about it.

You can sign up for Gmail at Gmail.com. Then, to use more than one email account within Gmail, click the image of a gear (it’s in the right-hand corner), then “Settings” and finally “Accounts and Import.” Click “Import Mail and Contacts” and follow the instructions. We have a friend who is terrified of doing this because he fears he will never see any messages from his old address again. This is not going to happen; Bob still sees messages from America Online that he discontinued a decade ago.

When responding to messages, choose whether you want you your email to come from your new Gmail address or your old one.

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