How to Create and Use a Temporary Email Address
If privacy is a priority for you on the web, then you’ve probably considered creating a temporary email address..
It could also be for marketing purposes- temporary email addresses allow users to mask their identities (real email addresses) behind a masked address. This can help protect the privacy of the primary user- you. The last thing anybody wants is to have their email address compromised, with thousands of spam mail pinging their inbox, which is why a temporary email alias masks your true address and gives you control of who knows how to reach you. The masked address is the only thing external parties will see, and any spam sent to the address can be stopped by simply disabling or deleting the alias. The best temporary mail service is the one that protects you- the user, and also offers a variety of features and benefits to further enhance its value. In this Mod I’ll point out the tips and tricks for how you can make a temporary email address, and what to look for in a service.
When should you even use a temporary email address?
There are a variety of use cases for why (or when), a temporary email address makes sense. Consider the security benefits that come with it- you can use this temporary address across all parts of the internet, knowing that if there was ever any compromise to the website you’ve submitted your email on, the attackers wouldn’t have your ACTUAL email address, they would just have this temporary one. It’s kind of the same principle as a temporary credit card for online transactions. The temporary email address redirects all emails to your actual address, which is how you’ll still be able to receive communications. All the same inbox level filtering can be applied, as normal. Think of it as a fancy way to redirect emails to your inbox, from a different email address. Then, if one day you find yourself receiving a lot of spam, you can simply remove the temporary email address and stop receiving the spam. Services like Polycred allow users to have multiple, temporary addresses and can easily remove one with a single click. It might be best practice to set up multiple temporary addresses, depending on how often / where online you are submitting your email info.
There is also an important note to make about the quantity of temporary email addresses. In general, it might be a good idea to create a unique email alias for each individual website that you create an account with. That way, any potential risk of email compromise is bound to that website alone- meaning you just need to create a new alias for that one site, instead of all the others. Temporary email sites may actually encourage this in their workflow, which is something to watch out for, when choosing a service to use.
How long do temporary email addresses last?
The duration of a temporary email address will depend on the service that you’re using. Realistically, it should be able to last forever, but depending on the service you choose, some might have varying levels of account status, and restrict unlimited lifetime to the higher paid accounts. The amount of time that you wish to use a temporary address depends on your particular use case. For example, I have several temporary email addresses set up specifically for websites that I frequently visit, and thus keep the temporary addresses perpetually active, alternating the name depending on the need for change (like spam increase, etc).
Temporary email aliases cannot override Google spam blockers
It’s important to make a note that while temporary email addresses are useful from a privacy perspective, they are often the targets of abusive behavior, as unsavory parties may create multiple addresses, from which they blast users with spam mail. The user (you) might block the first spam email address, but with temporary addresses, the abusers can create an infinite number of fake emails that your provider won't be looking for, and thus continue to spam your inbox. THAT SAID, large mail providers like Google are very aware of this behavior, and I have seen it first hand that they restrict all the way down to the IP level of the provider that’s creating the temporary emails. It really falls onto the provider to monitor its customer's usage, at least from a data security point of view. Basically, don’t be getting ideas to spam your potential leads / customers from temporary addresses. Not only will it likely get stopped at the provider level, but it’s also just not a good way to get customers for your online business.
How do I start setting up a temporary email address?
As mentioned earlier, there are an abundance of online, temporary email providers. You want to find one that is specifically geared towards user ability (what are the features?) and that can create high quality aliases. Perception is important, and emails being sent from a sketchy looking address may raise suspicion from your recipients. Again, it all depends on your use case. A great start would be to look at a service like Polycred, which is a Google Chrome browser extension, so you can create your temporary email(s) for free, right from within the browser. As you create more and more addresses, you can explore their additional plans.
In conclusion, creating temporary email addresses can be an effective way to mitigate spam and take back control of your inbox. It can also be a great way to set up make-shift company address emails, where the aliases could all be the same, but point back to the individuals personal inboxes. For a bootstrapped team, this could be a good solution for communicating. If you enjoyed this Mod, you might like to read more about these 5 Tips to Prevent WFH Burnout! Please share this Mod using the social links below.