Hack 26 Best Practices for Your Amazon Account


Eight steps you can take to personalize, control, and secure your Amazon account.

Your Amazon account does more than just let you purchase items through the Amazon site. It lets you participate in the community and personalize your experience. Here are a few concrete steps you can take right now to protect?and get the most out of?your Amazon account.

Customize email preferences

Visit the email preferences page [Hack #22] and make sure it's set to a level you're comfortable with. This page also lets you see all of the email options that Amazon offers in a glance.

Customize public identity preferences

Check the identity section of your About You area [Hack #17] to make sure other Amazon customers can see only what you want them to see.

Use a complex password

It's always a good idea to use a password that's difficult to guess with any application. Because Amazon stores personal information on their servers, you should take your password seriously. Make your password at least eight characters and a combination of letters and numbers. If you created your account [Hack #13] with a simple password, you can change it anytime at http://amazon.com/o/self-service-forgot-password-get-email.

Always log out of public machines

If you share your computer with others or if you're using a public machine, learn how to log in and out [Hack #13] and make sure you're logged out when you're done.

Don't share your account

Nothing skews product recommendations like several people sharing the same Amazon account. If you share a computer in one household, learn about logging in and log out when you're done. If you're using one account to control billing for several people, you can set up a corporate account [Hack #16] instead.

Add a brief biography to your account

Your About You area [Hack #17] is your public face to other Amazon customers, and a brief biography is like a quick spoken introduction. It doesn't have to include any specifics but letting others know a bit about you will add some depth to your reviews and contributions.

Run the Recommendations Wizard

When Amazon knows what you like, its recommendations can be startlingly accurate. The Recommendations Wizard [Hack #14] is a quick way to point Amazon in the right direction. It also provides an opportunity to remove items (like gift purchases) that may be throwing your recommendations off.

Start a wish list

Even if you don't plan on sharing your wish list [Hack #18] with others, it's a good place to stash items you might want to buy in the future. Wish list items are also taken into account when Amazon makes product recommendations.