Seriously Useful Privacy Tool

Many free websites (like newspapers and forums) require an email address to sign up.  To make sure you give them a real one, they send you a password or activation code, usually within 60 seconds, by email.

Guerrilla Mail will issue you an email address that is good for 15 minutes.  You don't even have to leave the web site, just hit refresh and any emails you receive show up there on the screen and can even be replied to.  The only problem is that this will leave you with an impossible list of user ID's, but it is great for, say, forums where I only need to post one time (say with a customer support question).

Via this list, via Tom Kirkendall

  • me

    mailinator.com is similar.

    And as you can see here, _some_ sites don't even require a valid email address 🙂

  • ArtD0dger

    Why even sign up when bugmenot can sign you in with a right-click?

  • Tom G

    Since I am not a privacy expert, perhaps someone can explain why my usual method is a bad idea (unless it isn't).
    I have about 4 email addresses on a well-known provider, one of which is (mostly) used just for "people" contact and not websites. When a site needs an email I use one of 2 I keep around just for that purpose.

  • Kyle Bennett

    Works great except for the receiving mail part. 20 minutes after sending a test mail, so far no receipt.

  • mjh

    I like both mailinator and guerillamail. But I use TMDA (http://tmda.net). I prefer the fact that I can generate my own temporary addresses, apply my own expiration rules (on a per address basis), and then handle expired address with more options than just dropping the email.

    Of course, you need to have your own mail server... and it pretty much needs to run some variant of unix. But if you've got those, then it's pretty useful.

  • Nick S.

    I use Spamgourmet. You sign up for an account, and then supply addresses like this to web sites:
    yourname.10.somewebsite@spamgourmet.com

    It lets somewebsite send me 10 messages, which get forwarded to my regular e-mail account. Any messages beyond those 10 are silently dropped.

    That way, messages still come into your regular e-mail, but you can see that they're to throwaway addresses and sort them accordingly.

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