More privacy with anonymous disposable e-mail addresses
A still quite unknown, but highly recommended feature at mailbox.org are the “disposable e-mail addresses”. With such temporary addresses, mailbox.org users can securely and anonymously log in to Internet services or protect their identity when making one-time purchases, for example. The disposable addresses can be easily configured in the settings menu and automatically expire after a set period of time. This blog post explains how disposable e-mail addresses work, as well as when and why they can be helpful in maintaining your privacy.
Why we recommend temporary, disposable e-mail addresses
Verified e-mail addresses are not only valuable and expensive for spammers, but also for the advertising industry: according to German media, in 2018 advertising companies paid between 0.75 and one cent per tapped e-mail address of internet users. And companies like Twitter or Facebook were already making between 2 and 6 euros in quarterly revenue per “customer” (in North America even up to 20 euros). So anyone who prefers to keep their data, interests, or even shopping habits to themselves should think very carefully about where they leave their main e-mail address and where they prefer to fall back on options such as disposable addresses. One of the many features at mailbox.org with which you can protect your privacy.
But how exactly do disposable addresses work? As a mailbox.org user, you can create up to 50 disposable e-mail addresses in the mailbox.org web portal. You can choose these e-mail addresses freely, they are anonymous, are only valid for a limited period of time, and are only used to receive e-mails – they cannot be used to send e-mails.
Every e-mail sent to such an address ends up in the inbox of your mailbox.org account.
So if you want to register with an untrusted service or forum, for example, or need an e-mail address for a one-time confirmation e-mail for verification with a provider, you simply create a temporary e-mail address and use it on the relevant websites.
After the expiration of the validity period of the disposable address, it automatically disappears from the settings. From now on, e-mails to the address will be rejected with a “User unknown” message.
How to set up a disposable e-mail address
Disposable addresses are quickly set up in the mailbox.org portal: Log into your account, click on the cogwheel at the top right and go to the mailbox.org settings. Here you will find the menu item “Disposable addresses”.
After clicking on the button “Create new disposable address”, mailbox.org will create a new, anonymous e-mail address for you, link it internally to your account and store an entry in the list under “Existing disposable addresses”. In the screenshot, the user has already created an address and added the comment “Tickets 2 June 2021” to it. Please note: In the STANDARD account, the throwaway addresses remain for 90 days, in the PREMIUM account for 365 days, before they are automatically deleted. If this is not enough, the “Extend” button will help.
To keep track of where you have used which disposable address, you can also save a note for each address, for example “Tickets June 2, 2021”. This makes it easier to identify and organise the randomly generated addresses. And it allows you to find out which service is maybe not that privacy compliant with its customer data: If, for example, you only gave your address to the fictitious venue, but then spam or e-mails from another source come in via this address, the provider either has a problem or has passed on the address illegally.
Author: Markus Feilner