HELP! I've got too many online accounts

I want to be a digital minimalist, and maintain my privacy. I have too many online accounts right now. Here’s a list:

Zoho Mail
Skiff Mail

Cloud Storage:

Problem: I want to be a minimalist, but still maintain my privacy. I know I should only keep accounts that add value into my life. Most of those services aren’t even end to end encrypted and shouldn’t be used for privacy. But here’s my fear:

What if a service I delete becomes of value to me in the future? Obviously, different companies and can change their cloud storage offerings, and my opinions of a provider can change too. Also, what if a service that I delete, but I like, becomes bad in the future?

For ex: if a service offers 10 GB right now, and I delete my account, then they offer 5GB in the future, I just missed out of 5 GB of storage. Or maybe they stop new free accounts from registering in future. This has happened before. Long long time ago, MEGA offered 50 GB to free accounts, now they only offer 20 GB. So people who signed up later missed out on an extra 30GB of storage. I fear something like this could happen to me.

Ex. Microsoft accounts are horrible for privacy, but Microsoft offers many Computer Science certifications which can help someone advance their career. Let’s say I delete my Microsoft account now, but re sign up in the future just to have my skills certified by Microsoft? I fear something like this could happen, and when I go to re sign up for Microsoft, they offer less OneDrive space, or I will have less email address options.

Fears: What if something becomes valuable to me in the future, but it’s too late to re sign up for their service? Please talk me out of this way of thinking.

Digital minimalism
Compartmentalization (email addresses)

Let me know where to begin when deleting accounts, which accounts to keep, and what to think about through this process. I track my accounts using Bitwarden.

This is a really common dilemma with the modern internet, and you’ve probably heard that less is more. While Cal Newport isn’t exactly a key figure in internet privacy, I found his book on digital minimalism to be incredibly useful. If you’re too lazy (or don’t have the time) to read it, I’m going to try and summarise one of the main ideas that feels quite relevant here:

Stop using technology for a period, approximately 30 days. If you really can’t live without a service (as in, if it’s essential), keep using it. After this initial 30 day period, make a note of the services you needed, and the services you missed. For each service you missed, think about what that added to your life. You might realise that you never actually used a bunch of services, and you should probably get rid of them.

Sometimes, as you mentioned, many services are still important to you even if they have bad privacy practices. Make a pros/cons list, see what you’re willing to give up, how it affects you, and then create an account. Additionally, you could see what you’re able to get away giving. For example, do you NEED to give them a phone number or real name? can you get away with using an anonaddy alias?

Aside from the concepts discussed in his book, you’ve mentioned a lot of cloud storage. A general rule for backups is, keep one offline backup and one online backup. (use encryption if you’re worried about online backups and privacy). You might prefer automatic backups, but if you find them to have too much clutter, you could instead consider setting aside one day every month (e.g the 5th of every month) to back up all your important/sensitive data.

You’ve also mentioned signing up for multiple cloud services because you’re worried about missing out. I’m not sure I can really talk you out of anything here, but I’m glad you realise this sort of thinking is impractical. You don’t need to create accounts for hundreds of services. In this case, my advice (take with a grain of salt) would be to choose one service and stick with it. If you have a problem, there’s nothing that’s going to stop you from jumping ship in the future, based on options that will exist at that point of time in the future. There will always be new options that come up.

Compartmentalisation with email addresses is a messy one. I personally suggest having 2-3 emails, and creating anonaddy accounts for each of them. You probably don’t need more than 3, as otherwise things can get hectic. While my setup might not work for you, I’m including it here anyways because you might make use of it:

  • work email (not controlled by me)
  • “official” email (real name)
  • “alias” email (fake name, no personal details, real IP)
  • “TOR” email (fake name, no personal details, only through TOR)

For most people, the “TOR” email is often unnecessary, because most websites use HTTPS these days, and as long as you’re using DNS over HTTPS and privacy respecting websites, you’re probably golden for most things.

Compartmentalisation and digital minimalism are concepts that can overwhelm me as well during certain times, but I wish you the best of luck when gaining more control over your digital life as well.


You could use Proton Mail and SimpleLogin to manage your identities (different aliases for different purposes) and Proton Drive for your files, now you only need one account for both email and cloud storage.

Then you can open an account with them then?

I don’t think you will have any reason to switch from Proton in the foreseeable future, they have a sustainable business model and they are the largest encrypted email provider.

When it comes to your career obviously I would put that first, if you really are planning to complete certifications with them then why not just keep the account?

I have accounts that I might need in the future and I put them in the archive in my password manager so they don’t bother me and pop up in my password managers main interface.

Every few weeks I go through my password manager and clean things up so that I only have things that are necessary in there, now I have reduced the amount of logins to less than 15. It feels a lot better to have things under control (I used to have like over 100 logins) and to reduce my digital footprint.


I think if I keep an account, but archive it, the account still adds to my digital footprint and data about me, even if it I don’t use it.

What do you use each email account for ?

@amog @jordan I’ve gone through and deleted most of the accounts that I don’t use. I’ve settled on MEGA as my cloud storage provider for now. My issue comes with email accounts. I have 5 email accounts, ideally I want email inboxes. And end to end encryption in an email service also plays a role. Here’s what I’ve got now, and why I have each email address:

Gmail - professional
Outlook - for Microsoft certifications I can get in future
Protonmail - sensitive items
Tutanota - alias account, with SimpleLogin
Skiff - for the documents feature

It’s a lot to check 5 email accounts everyday, and a lot of privacy being given up. Which ones should I stick with? Maybe I can use Proton Mail for sensitive and alias stuff? Maybe use Outlook for personal email? Let me know what your recommendations are.

I don’t think you need an outlook account for microsoft you can link it to another email (maybe an alias on simplelogin?)

Why not just have the SimpleLogin account on your protonmail and use SL aliases for stuff you don’t want directly connected to yourself? Why do you need a separate email account?

I think a custom domain is better for this purpose i.e. etc

I still think everything could be compacted into a single Proton account, you can use your Proton account to login to SimpleLogin, you could add your custom domain to your proton account.

Obviously if you need notes / pages you should use Skiff pages or some other notes / pages provider.

Cool, I like making alias account and sensitive account the same email. Proton Mail is best option, like you said

True, but I don’t want to pay for my custom domain.

There’s probably a better solution than using Skiff. Google Docs and Microsoft Office come to mind. Cryptpad is a very good solution for the privacy as well. I’m assuming big tech doesn’t use AI to read your Google Docs and figure out your personality and interests.

I could also use LibreOffice and backup my documents to MEGA, for personal documents.

Correct. You can get an Outlook email address for Microsoft account, or use another email address.

@jordan Thank you for your help. I’m going to keep my Tutanota account for a while, so see if there’s any gaps I need to fill up. Or else, I’m all set with my new email setup.

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You’re most welcome, I hope your new email setup works well for you :slightly_smiling_face:

Apologies for asking again, I need still have a Tutanota and Outlook account, and want to keep one of the two. Outlook gives me the advantage of every other Microsoft service. Tutanota gives me the advantage of encryption. Which should I keep?

Work email: This is exclusively for work and controlled by my employer. Chances are you’ll have one with your company/school domain when you work. Use this one for work related stuff whenever possible, but remember your company can probably read emails you get through this.

Official email

  • I put this in my CV
  • I use this for job/uni applications
  • When I need to use a service in my real name (or any service professionally) I sign up with this email
  • When school staff/boss asks for “personal email” this is what I give
  • When applying for government documents this is what I give

Alias email

  • I use this to sign up for sites that don’t need my real identity
  • I use this one for online gaming, for example
  • I also use this one for cloud storage
  • I don’t do anything illegal from this one

TOR email

  • I don’t really use this one often and most people don’t need one
  • It’s my maximum threat level email
  • I don’t access it from outside the TOR browser
  • Only use it for sussy stuff on the TOR network

NOTE: When using my official and alias emails, I try to use anonaddy aliases when signing up for services. I don’t do this on ultra sensitive accounts as I can’t send from them, but if I need to register for, say, a microsoft account, (or a replit) I will use an anonaddy alias.

not your choice : work/school email
gmail: professional*
tutanota: alias account
protonmail: sensitive***

  • → You could switch to a more private one for this, but that’s probably an inconvenience for you. Maybe consider skiff because of the document feature?

** → By sensitive, do you mean “the feds are onto me” or just banking? If it’s stuff like banking, etc., you could just use your personal email address. If it’s the former, than make sure you never logged in via the clearweb, otherwise your account is compromised and you should probably make a new one.

However, if you’re really worried about your banking security you could use another email address for that (real name).

Outlook seems a tad unnecessary, as you can use an anonaddy (or simplelogin) email to sign in with your microsoft account.

I just wrote down all my thoughts here, I hope that makes sense.

So I’ve chosen to use Proton Mail for banking and insurance stuff, and as my alias account. I’ll use SimpleLogin for aliasing it. Only use alias email for unimportant services (like Netflix, airlines, uber, etc.)

Gmail remains the professional email that I give to everyone and post in public where needed. This is what I give out to people who ask for it in a professional setting.

Tutanota or Outlook can be the account where I do personal email and message actual people, like my friends and family. Maybe I’ll alias it with AnonAddy, and I’ll also use it as my spam account. I’ll give out AnonAddy aliases to places like e commerce and rewards cards, who will surely spam me.

Thank you for pitching in your ideas and helping me through my privacy journey. You too @jordan


It took me a little under 2 years to completely erase all traces of my online identity using deleteme’s free instructional pdf… it worked pretty good I opted out of everything. And then it wasn’t too hard for me to make decisions about getting rid of all my data because I saw the dangers of it…

I don’t know if too many people either who have had three digit agencies at their door three times over 4 years with interrogations and insinuations that seem to Echo the fact somebodythad infiltrated my own phone and computer and was in the process of planting and of reverse engineering telemetry, and several other intimidating factors…

All this to say, my xp may so happen to be different in that I am a citizen with no criminal record, tax paying, Collegiate educated engineer, civically virtuous ,mentor and active participant in my community for the sake of improvement. … and under the Patriot act rule 41a-d provisions , mixed with a little bit of fisa violations, on top of State secrecy, and a deep drive by a three-digit agency to get convictions… I was targeted heavily…and foumd "legally executable for treason " based on reverse engineered Telemetry put on my phone that I had no control over.

Who’s got time and why now? Because that was during the 2019 era when being a upstanding civically virtuous human being was considered an act against the state.

I digress.

All I know is that managing ones on personal data is a civically responsible act if you ask me

@amog @jordan

I decided to keep my Tutanota account and delete my Outlook account. My only fear: Will Tutanota be around long enough? This isn’t a concern with Gmail, Proton Mail, or Outlook. But considering what a small company Tutanota is, will they be around in the future?

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Tutanota should be around for a while. While I can’t say for sure, it is one of the two most ‘popular’ private email services, and has received some German government funding. I’m also sure that the Tutanota team will also allow for some sort of smooth transition when (or if at all) they ever go down.


Looks like you want to have many email inboxes to separate spam, professional, and generic emails. You can use filters and folders within an email account to separate different sorts of emails, for your personal convenience.

Here’s how it works: Let’s use Proton Mail as an example, let’s say you want to keep emails from SimpleLogin separate from sensitive emails:

Set up a filter that sends any emails from simplelogin into a specific folder

Set up another filter that sends any emails from your contacts into another folder

Your sensitive emails will show up to the main inbox folder

This way, you can keep your personal emails, alias emails, and sensitive emails, separate from each other, within the same Proton Mail acccount.

I’m pretty sure Tutanota and Proton Mail allow for filters and folders, and I think iCloud mail does too. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Also, good idea to hold off on Skiff mail. They’re a relatively new start up whereas Tutanota and Proton have been around for almost 10 years! And don’t worry about missing out on Skiff in the future. Many people still use their Yahoo or AOL email accounts, even though Gmail and Outlook exist and are far better.

As for picking which email inboxes to keep, keep the ones that are easiest for you to use. You mentiond that Tutanota isn’t particulary easy to use. Keep the inboxes that are easiest for you to use, use filters and folders to separate different types of emails, and use SimpleLogin/AnonAddy to alias the account. This strategy is very good for your goal of digital minimalism.

Here’s how to be private when using online services (almost how TOR works)

  1. The online service knows what you’re doing, but doesn’t know who you are (ex. using an alias email, fake name, pseudonym, Google Voice number)

  2. The online service knows who you are, but doesn’t know what you’re doing (ex. using Proton Mail, Signal, Tutanota, MEGA)

Google, Tutanota, and Proton Mail already know who you are. But Tutanota/Proton Mail don’t know what you’re doing with emails on their platform. Google, on the other hands, knows what you’re doing, and you should try to minimize that. I have a Google account, but don’t use Gmail. I only use my account for Google Voice and Google Contacts, that’s it.

On the other hand, something like Dropbox, or even Microsoft, will know what you’re doing, they don’t use end to end encryption. So if you need to use these services, make sure they don’t know who you are. Use alias information, isolate the service, fake your name. So whatever data is collected about you cannot be linked to your identity.