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Disposable addresses

Both Steve and I have blogged about how we use tagged addresses to monitor and manage our incoming mail. This is not something unique to our system, but rather a feature that’s existed in many mail systems for a long time. Many unix systems support tagged addresses out of the box, but there are also commercial MTAs and even some webmail services that support tags.
Gmail offers “+ addressing” where users can use unique tags after their username. This gives every gmail use an unlimited number of addresses to use. Any address gets leaked or compromised, and you can set filters to ignore future mail to that particular tagged address.
Yahoo offers up to 500 unique addresses per account. Initially this was a service provided by OtherInbox, now owned by Return Path, but it’s not clear if that’s still the case.
Spamgourmet has been offering disposable addresses since 2000. Their system has a built in limit on the number of emails a particular email will receive, which can help control the incoming volume.
Spamex is another provider of disposable addresses that’s been around for years and is providing services that allow recipients to control their incoming mail.
New on the scene is MeAndMyID.com who popped up in the comments here today. They are offering disposable addresses, free for a lifetime, if you sign up soon.
There are also the “short term” or “open inbox” disposable addresses like Malinator or 10 Minute Mail
I find disposable addresses invaluable for sorting through the mail coming into my account. A bank email to an address I didn’t give the bank? It’s a phish. A pizza hut email to an untagged address? Not real. Target emails to an address only given to Amazon? Amazon is selling or giving addresses away in violation of their privacy policy. Unexpected email from a vendor, but to a tagged address? Time to unsubscribe as I’ve lived this long without their mail.

2 comments

  1. Tom Chiverton says

    meandmyid.com’s FAQ doesn’t say free for lifetime, only “will not be charged a fee for this service for the first two years”.
    So the bet is to sign up people for free now, get you hooked on the service because all your email newsletters will go through it, then stick a bill on it.

  2. Iain C says

    Tom
    Point taken. My brother made the same point to me too! Look for our new release next week when we are firming up our commitment and promising that anyone signing up while we are spreading the word about the service will be guaranteed free use for their lifetime. Hope that reassures you.
    We actually don’t want to charge, and will be adding a “donate” function in the hope that allows us to avoid charging even new users in the future.
    Thanks for checking out the site. We’ve worked hard on it and appreciate all feedback.

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