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Do you need to enter an email to sign up for something, but would rather not be spammed? No problem!

Posted By Ashraf On November 9, 2011 @ 12:20 PM In Tips 'n Tricks,World Wide Web | 33 Comments

Spam

-noun

Super pestiferous anti matter

-verb

I want to hurt someone

….Okay on the serious note: we have all encountered spam. Yes even you (although you may not know in which case I ask you “have you checked your bank account lately?”). I read somewhere, on BBC I believe, that 97% of all emails sent are spam. Go figure.

Usually spam is generated by signing up for forums, signing up for special offers, registering at websites, etc. If you have to enter your email somewhere, chances are better then not that you will receive some sort of spam from that website/company/entity (please note that dotTech.org will not spam you in any shape form or fashion so you do not have to be afraid of entering your real email here; however you don’t have to). That being said, with so much spam circulating the internets, many anti-spam techniques have been pioneered. One popular method is to just create a “spam email”. In other words, create something like “spamaccountblahblah@hotmail.com” and use that email to sign up for all the forums, special offers, etc. that ask for your email . However what if you don’t want to create a separate spam email account? What if you just need a temporary email account to sign up for a forum to make that one post, or to sign up for a special offer and receive that coupon, freebie, or [insert here]? Well if you fall in the category of the latter (“I want a temporary account”), today I am here to tell you about two web services that you can use to help you combat spam:

Mailinator.com [1] (thx Frank)

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Mailinator.com is a website that allows you to create email address (no signup/registration required) and receive email to that email address. However you can only receive emails, not send them; also, your email inbox can be checked by anyone (there is no “password protection”) but all emails are automatically deleted within a few hours:

Mailinator is fundamentally quite different from other services. Other services like Gmail or Yahoo allow you to actually send email. You cannot send email from Mailinator. After a few hours, all email is auto-deleted. A Mailinator email inbox can be read by anyone. There is no real security here. Mailinator has strict rules about what kind of email it receives. Plain text is best, html is filtered. Images, attachments, and fancy stuff are simply stripped away.

The upside is that Mailinator requires no sign-up. Send email to a name, and the account is created automagically.

In a nutshell, other services provide more functionality but require a sign-up (which takes time, even if you falsify all the information anyway). Mailinator provides less, but requires no sign-up.

10MinuteMail.com [2]

10MinuteMail works in a different way than Mailinator; 10MinuteMail is more of the traditional type of email service. When you visit 10MinuteMail.com a unique email address is assigned to you (no sign up or registration necessary). Email addresses are assigned via a temporary cookie that is stored in your web browser so only you can access your email address/inbox. Unlike Mailinator, you can send and receive (reply to) emails. However the catch is that your email address/inbox will only last for 10 minutes and then it will be deleted (you can request extra time if you need it).

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Personally I like 10MinuteMail more than Mailinator simply because no one but me can access my emails. However both are good and useful services.

So I just told you about the two services I know that help you combat spam. I am sure there are many more out there. Any particular services you use? Please post below. :)


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URL to article: http://dottech.org/6372/do-you-need-to-enter-an-email-to-sign-up-for-something-but-would-rather-not-be-spammed-no-problem/

URLs in this post:

[1] Mailinator.com: http://mailinator.com

[2] 10MinuteMail.com: http://10minutemail.com/10MinuteMail/about.html?cid=279374

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