How to Create Disposable E-Mail Addresses
Protect Yourself from Spam
Do you ever want to get some information from a website, but hate giving them your e-mail address just to get in? Or you want to order something from a vendor but worry that you'll soon be bombarded with spam and junk mail in your e-mail box?
Creating a disposable e-mail address is a simple and free way to protect your main e-mail address from spam. Sometimes you just want to get some info from a website, but you don't want to giving them your e-mail address just to get in. Or maybe you want to order something from a vendor but you're worried that they'll start bombarding your mailbox with spam and junk mail offers. There are many e-mail services you can use.
Services like Mailinator.com allows you to give a disposable address to give to vendors, or when registering for a contest, etc. Any mail you receive back from these sites will go to that address, and not your real one. With this type, you can not send mail from the fake address.
There are services, like 10minutemail.com which will provide you with a temporary e-mail that is valid for only a short time, (usually 10 minutes) then destroyed. This type is good for online surveys, getting information on sites that require "registration".
Yahoo! Mail, which I use, allows you to create multiple disposable e-mail addresses to give to people you interact with online. You can direct which inbox you want your incoming mail messages to come in to, including your main e-mail. When one of the addresses becomes a spam problem, you know the spam source and just delete it, leaving your real address untainted.
How Yahoo Disposable Addresses Work
Say you want to order something online from a fictional company, BigBookstore.com, that you're not so familiar with. Before ordering, create a new e-mail address on Yahoo.com (used to be free but now they're charging for premium service for this) .
Create a base name
Create a base name that doesn't identify you in any way, or even a nonsensical name. Then add the vendor's name or descriptions, so you'll remember that's what you created it for.
Example: your base name could be....
- Milkmonkey-(vendor name)@yahoo.com
The "Milkmonkey" portion of your address stays the same in all your disposable addresses.
Create an identifying tag to add onto your base name.
The part in the parentheses is the part that changes. Use this part to identify what you are using this address for.
Example: a disposable address for BigBookstore might be....
As another example, your e-mail address for Hubpages could be....
you verify your new address, go ahead and order that book from
BigBookstore. Use your new e-mail address instead of your main one. Any
correspondence from BigBookstore will come to this e-mail address
instead of your main one, but your order confirmations
and receipts are all forwarded back to your main address.
If you order stuff regularly from BigBookstore, you would probably keep this e-mail address open and use it any time you order or correspond with their site. Later on, if Milkmonkey-BigBookstore@yahoo.com starts getting flooded with unsolicited offers, spam, etc., all you have to do is go to manage my account, and hit delete this address. You're only deleting this one e-mail address. No more spam. And your primary e-mail address is intact.
Using Address Guard
If you're interested, Yahoo Plus has a whole system and tutorial for doing all this, called Address Guard. They used to offer for it for free but now they charge $20 a year for it. It takes only a bit of time to set up disposable e-mail accounts. One of the benefits is you can see your incoming mail for all your disposable addresses in your regular Yahoo inbox. You don't have to visit a different site. You can even color code each address for easy sorting.
It's advisable to keep a running list of all your disposable e-mail addresses and passwords in a safe place. I use an Excel spreadsheet that's at least 4 pages long to keep track of all our user names, passwords, and other info. Now if only we could get rid of all the paper junk mail, too.
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