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stop receiving spam emailWe’ve all been there. You’re interested in a website or a download, but the site wants your email address before letting you near the goods. You want access, but you’re not quite sure you want it enough to hand over the information.

The site asks you to supply an email address, and follow up with confirmation, and perhaps a login and password. It’s hard to avoid the process or any of the steps, but the part that really annoys me is the need to supply my email address to yet another unknown party.

But what if you could instead supply a temporary email address that was forwarded to your own? And then define either a maximum number of emails to forward, or a maximum period of time for which that would happen? This would stop you from receiving spam email to your regular email account. That’s what the website below do. And do it very nicely.

tempalias

tempalias is simple. I’m fond of simplicity. It’s functional, and effective. And it’s going to solve this problem for you.

A word of caution though. Remember that the whole reason you would go through this is that you don’t want to supply your email address to someone you might not trust. You need to be happy that tempalias is a safe place to hand over that address. I’m relaxed about it, but you should always make your own decisions on security, and not just take my word. tempalias has more so say about the subject.

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Remember also that if it turns out that you want to have an ongoing relationship with the website then you will need to return and sign up with your real email address. tempalias has commitment issues, and won’t phone you back the next day, or at least not the next month.

Setting up an alias is easy.

Go to the tempalias site, and supply your real email address.

stop receiving spam email

Then add either:

  • A number of days for which you want the alias to be valid
  • A number of emails which you want to be successfully forwarded

In this case, I’ve said I don’t want more than three emails to be sent to me. After that, forget it.

Click the Generate Alias button.

stop receiving spam email

Now you just use the temporary email address instead of your own, for the website you need to get access to. In this case “˜0bcpd@tempalias.com’, but of course yours will be different.

Try it out. Send some emails to the supplied temporary address, and they will show up at your real email address. After the limit (either days or emails) expires, further emails will be rejected, and the sender, which will generally be a website, will be advised that the email address is not valid.

There are a few other providers with similar products. The details vary, and I should restate my caution from earlier. You need to be able to trust these people.

mint email

protect email from spam

mint email operates a little differently. There is no forwarding involved. Instead, you create the temporary address at the site, and the emails arrive there as well.

mint email‘s addresses only last for three hours, so you need to complete all of the interaction smartly, or start again.

protect email from spam

This stop you from receiving spam email and saves cluttering up your mailbox, but it also means you don’t have any sort of longer-term record of what has happened.

MakeMeTheKing

protect email from spam

MakeMeTheKing is a similar proposition, but without the three hour timeframe.

There’s another fundamental difference too, and it’s best to understand it up front.

You can be the king if you want, but there’s nothing stopping anyone else from sharing the role. Basically, if you choose an address which already exists, it will still work just fine. You’ll see all the existing emails, all the spam, potentially all the personal details from the last person who used it.

So firstly, choose something obscure, and secondly don’t use this service if the response emails might contain sensitive information. It’s easy though, and you can even add an RSS feed for the specific email address (pretty handy feature fore newsletter subscriptions I suppose).

Do you use any of these? Any others? Thoughts? Questions? Have you ever managed to accidentally make some of your private information public? Without using Facebook? Let me know in the comments below.

  1. differentperspective
    June 15, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Hey. Yeah, it's a tough one to win, but I've never had an issue with emails from any of these alias sites. it might depend a little for some folk on the KIND of website they are registering for, of course...

    And I like your idea.

  2. JuliannTrott
    June 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I use Yopmail.com , it works like MakeMetheKing

  3. JuliannTrott
    June 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I use Yopmail.com , it works like MakeMetheKing

    • Jim Henderson
      June 15, 2010 at 2:17 am

      Okay, thanks.

    • Jim Henderson
      July 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      Also a good choice.

  4. Aibek
    June 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    thanks for the input!

    • Jim Henderson
      June 14, 2010 at 5:51 am

      Yeah, that's some serious input. Many thanks.

  5. Muo Talcum
    June 13, 2010 at 2:15 am

    I have to say that Spamgourmet is still the best of them all. You can create multiple e-mail addresses, choose how many you get at that address, reactivate the address after that maximum is reached, if needed, and they have multiple aliases you can use in case @spamgournmet is not acceptable as an address. You can send e-mail using one of your @spamgourmet addresses, they give you statistics on your last eaten mail addresses so you can decide if you want to turn an address back on, and statistics on number of mails eaten and number of addresses you have.
    You can turn an @spamgourmet address into a permanent good address if you should sign up to something you want to get e-mail from regularly.
    They even offer up their source code and are on Sourceforge.
    I've been using pretty much since they started in 2000.

    Their main page says it all: spamgourmet - free disposable email addresses, strong spam blocker, short learning curve.

    todays statistics: 3,539 days, 223,178 user accounts
    5,001,080 disposable addresses
    48,695,495 msgs delivered, 14,036 today
    582,836,038 msgs eaten, 333,704 today

    http://www.spamgourmet.com/

    I believe you have mentioned this in a previous article as well. I'm a firm believer that if you find a solution that fits all your needs, then there is no need to look further. There are a lot of temporary e-mail solutions, but Spamgourmet does what all the others do and so much more.

    PEACE

  6. Emina
    June 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    usually i'll use 10 minute mail :)
    very handy since you can extend the time limit, in case you need more time.
    http://10minutemail.com/10Minu...

  7. gUEST
    June 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Mailinator.com is another good choice.

  8. gUEST
    June 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Mailinator.com is another good choice.

    • Jim Henderson
      June 15, 2010 at 2:16 am

      one more for the list. Thanks.

  9. Emina
    June 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    usually i'll use 10 minute mail :)
    very handy since you can extend the time limit, in case you need more time.
    http://10minutemail.com/10MinuteMail/index.html

    • Jim Henderson
      June 15, 2010 at 2:16 am

      Thanks. Saw that one too.

  10. Brian
    June 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    my favorite use to be bugmenot email service,but it is now down. they have a list of these types of services here though http://email.bugmenot.com/ .

  11. Brian
    June 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    my favorite use to be bugmenot email service,but it is now down. they have a list of these types of services here though http://email.bugmenot.com/ .

    • Jim Henderson
      June 15, 2010 at 2:15 am

      it's good to find a list, because lots of them come and go...

  12. Digital Imagination
    June 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Cool stuff ............

    I really liked it................

  13. Digital Imagination
    June 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Cool stuff ............

    I really liked it................

  14. differentperspective
    June 12, 2010 at 12:13 am

    http://www.inboxalias.com

    You have a valid point. That looks pretty comprehensive. Thanks.

  15. Beatrix
    June 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I really like inboxalias

  16. @TheGirlPie
    June 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Interesting post, thanks -- but wouldn't bloggers and webmasters just add these temp domains to a 'review' list or 'deny access' list if they don't want to give out content without an honest exchange?

    I'd think that Feedburner, aWeber, Atom and the others would quickly see that any address using "@tempalias.com" is a fake and program in an error screen like they have now if you leave off the ".com" or whatever... some nice note like "yeah, we hate spam too, but you don't have to use a fake address with us; just enter your real one and if you don't like what we send, unsubscribe at any time -- c'mon, try again" -- right?

    Or maybe I just designed a plugin someone can build and distribute or sell -- ha!

    Along these same lines, BugMeNot.com offers a work-around to access registration sites...

    Keep up the good works, I'm loving MUO ~

    ~GirlPie

  17. @TheGirlPie
    June 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Interesting post, thanks -- but wouldn't bloggers and webmasters just add these temp domains to a 'review' list or 'deny access' list if they don't want to give out content without an honest exchange?

    I'd think that Feedburner, aWeber, Atom and the others would quickly see that any address using "@tempalias.com" is a fake and program in an error screen like they have now if you leave off the ".com" or whatever... some nice note like "yeah, we hate spam too, but you don't have to use a fake address with us; just enter your real one and if you don't like what we send, unsubscribe at any time -- c'mon, try again" -- right?

    Or maybe I just designed a plugin someone can build and distribute or sell -- ha!

    Along these same lines, BugMeNot.com offers a work-around to access registration sites...

    Keep up the good works, I'm loving MUO ~

    ~GirlPie

    • Jim Henderson
      June 15, 2010 at 2:15 am

      Hey. Yeah, it's a tough one to win, but I've never had an issue with emails from any of these alias sites. it might depend a little for some folk on the KIND of website they are registering for, of course...

      And I like your idea.

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