Everyone uses email for everything in today’s world, from communicating with friends and colleagues to using your email address as an online passport. Almost every app and service you sign up for today, as well as most loyalty cards, contest entries, and other things, requires an email address.
It’s convenient to have one address for everything, but it’s not convenient to receive dozens of email messages each day that you don’t want. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for stores’ databases to be hacked these days, making your email address that much more likely to end up on spam lists. Then there’s the fact that doing something completely private is nearly impossible.
There are a few ways to keep your Gmail and Outlook inboxes under control, but sometimes you need something more drastic: a disposable email address.
Simple Yahoo disposable email addresses, simple Gmail tweaks on your main email address to make filtering easier, and a completely anonymous email address are all options. Disposable email addresses are a great way to reintroduce some of paper letters’ privacy while also automatically keeping your inbox cleaner.
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It also includes many additional professional email strategies to assist you in adequately organizing your email inbox.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you everything you need to know about disposable email addresses, as well as how to use them in a variety of email systems, including Gmail, Yahoo, Mailinator, and others.
What is a Disposable Email Address?
Let’s start with a definition of a disposable email address.
A valid email address is required for almost every service. Nonetheless, spam and unwanted email messages are becoming a bigger problem. If the company you provide your information to is hacked or sells your email address, you increase your chances of receiving even more spam every time you provide it. Furthermore, many disposable email address users are concerned about privacy as well as spam.
Disposable email addresses can assist in resolving the issue. You can tell how your information is getting to spammers by providing a different email address each time you sign up for services and keeping track of those unique email addresses.
Messages sent to many disposable email addresses are forwarded to your primary email address. Disposable email is only available for a limited time with a few disposable email services.
Why Would I Use a Disposable Email Address?
Disposable email addresses conjure up images of black hat hackers and the internet’s shadowy underbelly, which most of us avoid. However, there are various legitimate reasons to use a disposable email address, including the fact that many members of our Tuts+ team do so regularly. Here are a few examples:
- You’d like to sign up for a store loyalty card, but you don’t want to receive emails from the store about new products. Instead, use a disposable email address, and you’ll never have to see those emails—and your real email address won’t be stolen if the store is hacked.
- You’ve just finished coding a fantastic web application and want to test it before releasing it into the wild thoroughly. Get 100 disposable email addresses, set up dummy accounts with them, and start testing.
- You’d like to create a new account with a web app, such as an IFTTT account, to automate a second Twitter account you manage for your website. Both of these will require a different email address than your default, so instead of managing another inbox, create a disposable email address.
- You want to send a completely anonymous email to a newspaper’s editor. You could do this with paper mail by mailing a letter to a postal dropbox without a return address, but using a disposable email address is one of the few ways to do so online today.
These are just a few of the many advantages of using a disposable email address. Here are the apps and instructions you’ll need to create and use disposable email addresses.
How to Create a Disposable Email Address and Begin Using It
Making a new email account with Gmail, Yahoo, or any other free email service is the most obvious way to create a disposable email address, but that’s a lot of work for just one new email address. It would work if you only wanted one email address to give away to companies and another for personal communications. Still, disposable email addresses are a better option if you need more than that.
Here are some of the most effective methods for creating disposable, temporary, or throwaway email addresses, as well as for instructions on how to use them in seven popular email systems:
1. Gmail – Generate Temporary Email Address Aliases
When you notice spam in your inbox, have you ever wondered who gave away your email address? With Gmail’s custom email addresses, you can now do so. Gmail doesn’t offer anonymous disposable email addresses. Still, you can make a new email alias by adding a period anywhere in your email address or by appending a plus sign to the end of your email and adding whatever text you want after it.
When spam mail arrives, click the tiny down arrow next to To me: to delete it. It will show who sent the email and where it came from, as well as other information. You’ll be able to see which email alias it was sent to after that. So, if you get a toy-related promotional email and look at who it was sent to, you’ll know who gave away your email address. The +megacorp indicates that your email address was given away in the MegaCorp, Inc. newsletter. Now is the time to unsubscribe!
Even if the services you sign up for don’t spam you, these email aliases are a great way to filter your incoming emails automatically. You could create custom Gmail filters for each of your email aliases and have emails sent to those addresses archived with specific labels automatically.
Of course, these Gmail disposable email addresses aren’t any more private than your regular email address. However, they’re an excellent way to see how people received your email and to automate email filtering, regardless of which list you’re on.
2. Mailinator – Public Throwaway Email Addresses
Here’s how to make a disposable email address with Mailinartor:
- Go to the Mailinator website.
- Type in your new email address.
- Click the green button.
If you check the box, the inbox will open without requiring a password. You’ll see any emails sent to that address, as well as emails you didn’t sign up for if someone else previously used the same email address.
The email inbox looks and functions exactly as you’d expect. You can read and respond to emails, as well as download any attachments. It’s a full-featured email, with all of your emails visible to anyone who knows your email address.
Mailinator isn’t private in the sense that the address isn’t associated with you. Any replies you receive will be made public—but it’s an incredibly simple way to get a disposable email address for whatever you want, making it ideal for a fully anonymous email address (albeit one with public replies) or for testing out your new web app. You could even use Mailinator to test your services by hosting them on your domain.
3. Airmail – Randomized, Disposable Email Addresses
Airmail is a similar private email service to Mailinator, but with a higher level of privacy. You press a button and receive a random email with a unique code that allows you to view any emails sent to the address online without a password.
Go to the Airmail website and click the Get Temporary Email button to get a new email address. Your new randomly assigned email address and the unique access code will appear in the address bar a few seconds later. To see any emails you receive, make a note of both—or copy the URL with both codes in the address.
For example, suppose the email address I was given at random was firstname.lastname@example.org, and the address in my browser’s address bar was getairmail.com/tutyw/INGX. The first code is the email address (it does not include the randomly assigned domain name), and INGX was my unique code in this case. To access the mailbox in the future, type or copy the URL from the browser’s address bar, and you’ll be able to access your email—though this will only work for the previous 24 hours, after which time the emails will be deleted.
It’s a good option for making a random email address, but keep in mind that the site isn’t SSL encrypted, so your communications aren’t completely secure, and the extra steps you’ll have to take to get an address make it far from the best service for testing out random accounts on your new app.
4. MailDrop – Quick Temporary Email Addresses
MailDrop is another public option for a free temporary email address. This service gives you disposable email addresses that expire after 24 hours of inactivity.
Type a user name in the blank in the upper right in front of @maildrop.cc to get a MailDrop email address. Then, to see any messages sent to that email address, click the GO > button.
My temporary email address would be email@example.com if I typed the user name web-designer into the blank.
The number of messages that can be received in a MailDrop inbox is limited. Each MailDrop inbox can only receive ten messages at a time. The maximum size of received messages is 100 kilobytes. Furthermore, any attachments sent to a MailDrop inbox are stripped from the message and discarded. As a result, MailDrop is not a viable option for file sharing.
It’s also worth noting that MailDrop inboxes aren’t secure. The messages in the inbox are visible to anyone with an email address.
5. Abine Blur App – Secure, Disposable Email Addresses
Abine is a privacy-focused company. That goal is reflected in all of their products. Blur is no different.
Blur is available as a Firefox extension, as well as for Android and Apple devices. When you need to enter your email address into an online form, it creates masked email accounts on the fly. Blur’s masked email addresses cannot be traced back to you.
You can log into the site and check for messages sent to your masked email addresses after filling out a form with an anonymous email address provided by Blur. Messages sent to an anonymous email address can also be forwarded to your primary email address. If you notice that a specific anonymous email address is receiving a lot of spam, disable forwarding.
Abine Blur, on the other hand, is designed to keep more than just your real email address private. It can also aid in the secure storage of passwords. Your phone number and credit card number can also be hidden in the premium version. You can even make an online purchase with a masked credit card number.
Blur stores information in a highly secure manner. Your password is used to encrypt it. Even Abine is unable to access your information.
6. Mailsac – Disposable Email Addresses for Testing
Mailsac advertises itself as a service that provides anonymous email addresses for testing purposes. Like many of the other services, the emails are open to the public if you use the generator on the site. You can also use Mailsac to create a private account.
Type your user name in the email generator’s blank to get a free email address.
MailSac can be used to avoid receiving spam at your primary email address, to sign up for online services, and for testing. However, it’sHowever, it’s important to remember that messages sent through MailSac’s public version are not permanent. Messages may be deleted from public inboxes as soon as three days after they are received, but this is subject to change.
Mailsac is available as an open-source project on GitHub. The API documents are available to view, and API access is only available to paid accounts. It’s a great choice for testing because it’s scalable and can use popular protocols like POP3 access.
7. Yahoo! Mail – Unique Disposable Email Addresses
Traditional email services like Gmail aren’t the only ones that provide disposable email addresses. Yahoo! Mail has built-in disposable email addresses, and they’re real, one-of-a-kind addresses, not just email aliases like Gmail.
A base name and a keyword make up a Yahoo! Mail disposable email address. All of your email addresses will be formatted as firstname.lastname@example.org. The basename can only be changed once, and it must be unique; otherwise, all of your addresses will have the same base name. You can then create up to 500 keywords, giving you the ability to create up to 500 unique email addresses from a single account.
Log in to your Yahoo account, click the Settings icon in the top right corner of the page, and then select Settings from the drop-down menu. Then select Security from the drop-down menu. Choose to Create Base Name from the drop-down menu, then enter a private name to use at the start of your disposable email addresses. Click Add to add your keywords for specific addresses after you’ve created a base name. You’ll be able to choose whether to automatically block spam and use filters on that address, as well as which inbox to forward the email to.
The new Yahoo disposable email addresses can then be used just like any other disposable email address. If you want, you can even choose the address while writing a new email in the Yahoo! Mail app.
It’s important to remember that your Yahoo! email addresses aren’t completely private—they’re more secure than Gmail aliases, but they’re still linked to your primary account. They’re great for most temporary email addresses, though, and provide more privacy than Gmail while still providing the same benefits of having all of your emails in one inbox and the ability to filter them however you want.
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Disposable email addresses are an excellent way to keep your main email account’s inbox from becoming a shambles. There is, however, more you can do. Start implementing pro strategies to improve your email management approach.
Learn how to organize your inbox so you can keep track of your most important emails and respond quickly. You’ll be more efficient with email and spend less time in your inbox as a result.
Although this isn’t an exhaustive list of services that provide disposable email addresses, there are enough options to restore privacy and Security to your email.
You won’t want to use disposable email addresses for everything. Still, with features like those provided by Yahoo and Gmail, you can make your email more productive by creating custom filters based on the disposable email addresses you use for specific services.