Since its advent in the ‘70s, email has become the de-facto way of sending important or official information online. However, far exceeding the number of important emails sent, inboxes are being inundated by a plethora of junk: sale bills, receipts, listservs, vendors, newsletters, and much more. Though these junk emails are seldom useful, they’re also a necessary evil. For example, you may need a confirmation sent to you but after entering your email address, you are now on the company’s mailing list or, even worse, they sell or share your email address with other companies. Luckily, there’s a way to minimize this impact: a disposable email address.
A disposable email address is an email account that users can give out instead of their primary account. Promotional and spam emails are directed to this alternate address, rather than cluttering a main account. However, depending on the disposable email solution chosen, and unlike an entirely fake email, the user can retain access to this account, if desired.
It’s very easy to create a disposable email address. First, select an email domain, such as Gmail or Yahoo. Then create an account similar to your main account, which will make it easier to remember. The account is now ready to receive emails. It’s a good idea to check this account occasionally, to ensure that there are no important messages in the inbox.
If you do not want to create a new email address, Gmail offers the ability to create customized emails that you can then throw away when you don’t need them anymore.
Step 1: When asked to input your email on a service you’d rather not share your proper address, type it in as normal, but end your email address with a specific tag. For example, if you already hold an account at gmail.com using your name or an account name, then provide the following email address for unwanted mail: email@example.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org). That way, when you receive an email from that service or company, it will have that additional moniker attached to it.
Step 2: Set up a Gmail filter to make sure that it automatically deletes any emails coming through with that specific tag. To do so and using the example account above, type the tag portion beginning with the + sign (i.e., +extra) in the search box at the top of your inbox and click the arrow on the right-hand side. Then put that tag (+extra) into the “To” section of the filter form and click “Create filter with this search.”
Step 3: On the following page, click the “Delete it.” Then, click “Create Filter.” You’ll no longer see any
emails in your inbox that were directed to that specific address. To keep these messages but reorganize, there are other filter options.
Additionally, there are companies that create and maintain temporary email addresses. Though these offer less privacy and security, they offer the most protection from spam. Mailinator, for example, (www.mailinator.com) lets you use any email address with the @mailinator.com domain. The service receives mail before it can ever enter your real server. Emails are also deleted automatically after a few hours. This comes with one caveat, however: all mail sent to Mailinator is publicly available and anyone can read it. Thus, Mailinator is only useful when you really don’t want to get mail.
Another alternative is Jetable.org. This site works a little differently than both Gmail and Mailinator, as the address itself will automatically expire. At Jetable, you’re able to pick a disposable email address, which then redirects the mail to your actual email address. After your chosen life span of one hour to one month, the temporary address expires, and no more mail is forwarded.
One more disposable email service is Burnermail (https://burnermail.io/). The company generates multiple disposable email address for users to give out, which are then forwarded to your main inbox. This comes with a couple advantages over Gmail’s filters: not only are existing features more convenient, such as filtering, but users are able to reply with their burner emails. Also, these burner emails don’t contain your real email in the address; thus, neither corporations nor individuals can discover your main address.
With the use of disposable emails, users no longer have to dream and reminisce of days when they experienced a clean inbox. Master SPAM and keep your privacy with services like GMail’s tagging system, Mailinator, Jetable, Burnermail or any of many other solutions that help make filtering easy and effective and ridding junk-mail more of a breeze. Until email account providers create better filtering options, these services are some of the best options currently available.
Authors: Emily Cieslewicz, and Grey Ruessler of IT User Services
O’Donnell, A. (2018, November 17). Why You Need a Disposable Email Account. Retrieved April 24, 2019, from https://www.lifewire.com/why-you-need-a-disposable-email-account-2487629
Martindale, J. (2019, March 19). Reluctant to give your email address away? Here’s how to make a disposable one. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-sites-for-creating-a-disposable-email-address/
Tschabitscher, H. (2018, November 10). These Are the 6 Best Disposable Email Services. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.lifewire.com/best-disposable-email-address-services-1171097