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Can your internet provider disable your email account if you cancel service?

Yes. Although some providers allow you to have access, not all do, and legally, they don't have to.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Your phone number and your email address are mainstays. Your physical address may change but rarely does someone change their phone or emails.

This is why when it happens, and not by choice, you are dumbfounded. 2WTK viewer Kathy writes:

Can an internet provider legally disable your email account when service is cancelled? I have had my email account before there was a Spectrum.

The short answer is, yes it's legal for broad-band companies to do that.  It's their email service. That said, The New York Times did a story on this and found some internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast allow you to keep your email addresses

Here are the real 2 Wants To Know takeaway from all this is: Pick an email service for your main address. This way, no matter what internet service you use, you always have your same email address.

You've heard of all these email services, Gmail, Outlook, or iCloud. The NYT article reveals a few tidbits you should know about them. For example,  Gmail, owned by Google, is known to collect a lot of user data. Also, iCloud only offers 5 gigs of storage for free, the rest you have to pay for.

Once you pick your new service, you'll want to bring over your old emails---which is a process and you'll want to forward messages from your old address to the new one.

Check out these resources for how to change over your emails and forward messages.

NYT article

Techilicious

LifeHacker

Remember, as you are making a forever email address, be mindful of what it says about you. What may seem funny right now, may not be the way you would want to introduce yourself to future employers and companies you do business with.