Sunday 26 June 2016

Disposable email addresses

Ever click on a link promising a "free"  interesting report or software, only to be greeted with a page demanding you register your email address before getting the prize?

Happens to me all the time. Do these companies not think this shouts "Sign me up for your spam list!" from the rooftops?

The reality is while many well reputed companies abandoned this practice long ago there is still a significant mass who's marketing departments drive their web communication and steer it towards "Give me more email addresses to blast stuff at!"

It's just our reality today. Several people I know created "dummy" email accounts just to deal with this type of silliness, but there is a better way.

If you need to provide an email address for them to send a link or report to, consider using guerrillamail.

Guerrillamail provides you a disposable email address that will accept incoming emails and hold them for an hour for you to review. You can forward incoming mails, respond to mail sent to that inbox, and even compose a new email from it.

Guerrillamail provides 10 domains you can choose from, and you can use an email address their system generates for you on the fly, or create your own. There is no sign-up process, they never ask for your email address or any other information.

As with everything there are a couple of caveats with this service.

  1. The email accounts have no password, so anyone who goes to guerrillamail and types in the email address you've used will see the contents of the inbox. (After all, it's designed for spam protection, not security)
  2. Incoming email is only held for an hour and then deleted automatically.
They also offer an Android app if you need those addresses on the fly, rather handy bit of service.

I confess I use this service for both work and home as I like to sometimes register for demos and the sales team has ensured their website demands an email address before letting you view their product. (Another ridiculous tactic designed to dissuade or annoy potential clients.)

In today's data-driven world a little privacy provided by services like guerrillamail is a welcome change.

Happy surfing,

-The Home Geek

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