We all have an email address that we direct our spam to. You know the routine – all you want to do is sign up for a website to get a free sample or view their newsletter, but you know they’ll send you a bunch of junk email that you’ll never be able to escape. So, you use an email from an account you never check so you won’t have to sort through more spam.
It’s a great idea, but it’s not the best for security in the long run. That’s because any email address that is connected to real user information can be sold, thereby opening the proverbial Pandora’s box to scammers and hackers. According to Rob Shavell, Co-founder of MaskMe, a growing email privacy company, “Anybody who uses the web for anything at all or that has a bundle of important accounts they want to protect and keep private,” should be careful about how companies use their email addresses.
Luckily, MaskMe is just one of several companies to come up with a solution to this problem. It’s called a disposable email addresses. Every time you want to, for example, learn more about a company or simply get a brochure from them, you can put in a random fake address and never have to worry about waking up to a junk-filled inbox – or compromising your identity.
Ready to create your own disposable email address? Check out some of our favorite services below.
- MaskMe: This is by far the most versatile option. Download the Chrome extension and have spam email forwarded wherever you want. You can always log in and sift through the emails if you choose. Plus, you’ll never have to remember which throwaway address you used for which site – MaskMe will do it for you. There’s also a paid version that will create fake phone numbers and credit cards to further protect your identity.
- 10 Minute Mail: A simpler option, 10 Minute Mail will generate a throwaway address that you can use to create and verify any new account. You can request more time with the address (in 10 minute increments), but you’ll never have to worry about seeing spam items in your personal inbox.
- Mailinator: Create a fake email address and all communications you direct there will be sent to it. That means if you want your junk email address to always be: firstname.lastname@example.org, you can use it indefinitely. You can’t send any email from this address, and you can’t check your inbox – but all spam emails are caught and deleted within a few hours.
I hope you found this list helpful. Now go forth and order all the brochures and free samples you like using your new address!
Interested in finding more ways to keep your online activity private? Be sure to check out our recent blog post on the topic.
Image courtesy of Flickr user NotoriousXL.