Are there times when you would like to try some free service that is offered on the Internet but are reluctant to provide your email address because it might lead to spam? Don’t skip that free service – use a disposable email address. Here is how to get addresses that you can throw away. If spammers get hold of an address, just trash it. Or you can set up an address that expires before a spammer can even begin to use it.
There are many free temporary email services available on the Internet. The details of their services vary somewhat. Some provide an address that lasts for a short time only. Others provide an alternate address that lasts until you decide to discard it. Some do not require you to register or provide your real address while others do require registration. Here are some of the best examples. Readers will probably know of others
Here is a service picked by Gizmo's editors. It requires registration but is highly rated and reputable.
- Spamgourmet provides addresses with limited life that it forwards to your actual address. After a temporary address is used for some fixed number of times that you pick, the address self-destructs. Requires registration but this service is long-established and well-known.
How to get short-lived addresses with no registration required
A number of services provide temporary addresses that expire after a short time and are accessed online instead of being forwarded to your real address. Here are two well-known examples:
- Guerrilla Mail - Creates temporary addresses that last 60 minutes. Your real address not required
- 10 Minute Mail - Create throwaway email addresses that last for ten minutes. Ideal for sites that require an email but where you are unlikely to go back.
Browser Extensions for throwaway addresses
Many disposable email service providers have created add-ons for their individual service for Firefox or Chrome. For Firefox extensions search the official Mozilla Add-ons website and for Chrome go to the Chrome Web Store. Search for your preferred disposable email service.
More information - For an extensive list of different disposable email services go to this Ghacks list. The author also provides a download of a spreadsheet with descriptions of numerous services.
And there you have it – give out email addresses with no fear of spam.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.