Sunday, March 09, 2008
Tired of spam in your inbox? Want to track down exactly which website sold you out?
Temporary, disposable email accounts can help you. Not only do they stop spam from reaching your primary email account, but they are usually free and require no registration to use.
You can use them when a website forces you to register to access content, on public forums, on your MySpace profile, or wherever you don't want to give out your real email address. If someone spams you using your temporary address, you can quickly cut them off by canceling that account.
Disposable Email Safety Tips
1. Remember that any email that is sent to a disposable email service can usually be accessed by anyone as long as they type in the same email address that you used. Some let you set passwords, but that's rarer. That means you want to choose a more creative email address that can't easily be guessed or replicated by someone else.
2. Similarly, don't use disposable email services for personal or sensitive emails. Usually, they're not run by big public corporations so you never know if someone is using them to collect information for identity theft.
That said, temporary email services are incredibly useful when used properly.
The Best Free Disposable Email Services
You don't have to sign up to use Mailinator. Just enter whatever email address you like as long as it ends in mailinator.com when you register for a site. You can also use the following alternate domains:
Checking mail is also easy. You can access email using your browser, RSS, or even via a widget.
The popular myTrashMail offers both secure and non-secure temporary email accounts. If you want a secure account protected by a password, you'll need to complete a very short registration form.
Not only does BugMeNot let you bypass website registration, it also offers an instant, disposable email service. Emails get deleted every 24 hours.
Although currently offline, the open source 2Prong offered an innovative no-click disposable email system. Disposable email addresses were automatically copied to your clipboard so you could quickly paste them into the registration forms on websites. Email address domains were also changed frequently to bypass banning. See below for some good alternatives.
Offering a variant of the 2Prong service, BlockFilter offers no-click disposable email that is automatically deleted every 2 hours.
Spamgourmet offers a temporary email forwarding service. Just set up an account to get a temporary address that you can use to register for sites. Any email sent to that address is automatically forwarded to your real email address.
7. 10 Minute Mail
Don't need an email inbox with longevity? Try 10 Minute Mail, which offers accounts that expire after 10 minutes (with optional renewal).
To use MailEater, just give out an email address like email@example.com. Then check the website for any emails.
9. Temporary Inbox
Temporary Inbox offers both disposable email and email forwarding services with multiple domains you can choose from.
Although it doesn't switch domains, Spaml has otherwise replicated the 2Prong disposable email service.
A knock-off of 2Prong that implements the same domain-changing strategy.
The flexible mailexpire offers an email forwarding service that you can set to expire anywhere from 12 hours to 3 months.
Choose an address, set a lifespan, and Jetable will automatically forward email from that address to your real mailbox for the duration you specify. A Firefox extension is also offered.
14. Guerrilla Mail
A well-optimized site that provides email addresses that expire after 15 minutes. You can extend it 15 minutes at a time. Currently for sale by owner.