Disposable e-mail addresses

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend, complaining about being deluged with spam e-mails after he provided his address to a software registration site.  I asked him why he hadn’t used a disposable e-mail address, but to my surprise he hadn’t heard of them.

For the benefit of those who’ve never used them, Wikipedia describes them as follows:

Disposable email addressing (DEA) refers to an alternative way of sharing and managing email addressing. DEA sets up a new, unique email address for every contact or entity, making a point-to-point connection between the sender and the recipient. Subsequently, if anyone compromises the address or utilises it in connection email abuse, the address-owner can easily cancel (or “dispose” of) it without affecting any of his other contacts. Following the cancellation or replacement of a disposable email address, the (ex-)owner need notify no more than one person/contact of the change.

There’s more at the link.

A large number of sites offer DEA’s.  Two articles from Digital Trends and About.com offer brief reviews of a number of them.  Pick one that sounds good to you, and use it to confound spammers.  They deserve nothing better, and (IMHO) should receive much worse!



  1. I have a special e-mail address that I use for such occasions. The name begins with "spamtrap" followed by a string of numbers and the e-mail provider. It is a functional address but spammers will seldom touch it.

  2. Thats what I keep a hotmail account for 😉 couple times a month I go in and clean it out and make sure there's nothing valid in it, and otherwise ignore it

  3. My favorite is spamgourmet. By default, any mail sent to anyword.yourusername@spamgourmet.com will be forwarded 3 times then blocked…then someotherword.yourusername.com will work 3 times. You don't have to tell them in advance what the first word is, just use it. There are customizing options if you want it to forward more or fewer times, there are a bunch of domain names you can use, and a mechanism for replying so it comes "from" your temporary address. Free.

  4. Now if we could get disposable telephone numbers to stymie the telemarketers without having to buy a burner phone.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *