TrashMail: Another handy, but different, way to fight spam e-mails

Update: TrashMail is once again free, but now it requires users to register on TrashMail.net (registration is free).

While reading through the comments of some of my other posts I saw a comment by Ozzie, a regular dotTechie, where she mentioned something about a service called TrashMail in relation to spam e-mail. I checked it out and decided the service is worth mentioning.

Remember my post on 10MinuteMail and Mailinator anti-spam services? I mentioned in there…

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).

To allow you to sign up for these forums, websites, etc. I then showed you 10MinuteMail and Mailinator, both which provide you with temporary/spam emails (with an inbox) you can enter at these online places. Well TrashMail is a service that serves a similar purpose but does it in a slightly different manner.

Instead of giving you a temporary/spam e-mail with an inbox, TrashMail provides you with a randomly generated temporary e-mail (you also have the option to create your own e-mail name instead of a randomly generated one) and all the e-mail sent to that temporary e-mail is forwarded to your real e-mail. Of course just hiding your e-mail behind another is not fighting spam since spam can continually forward to your real e-mail so to fight the spam TrashMail

  1. Limits how many e-mails will be forwarded to your real e-mail before the temporary e-mail is terminated;
  2. Limits the life span of the temporary e-mail;
  3. Allows you to opt-in for an option CAPATCHA sender confirmation system.

For the free version of TrashMail you are limited to a choice of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 e-mails for the number of e-mails that will be forwarded to you and a life span choice of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 days, 1, 2, 3 weeks, or 1 month. If you purchase the paid version ($5.65 a year) you have more choices including “unlimited” for both number of e-mails forwarded and life span.

So with the combination of all the above, TrashMail makes for a fairly effective anti-spam tool. To make the deal even sweeter, you are allowed to send e-mails from your temporary @trashmail.net e-mail from inside your control panel. Also, you can always change your “settings” (forward e-mail limit, life span, and CAPATCHA on/off) from the control panel. Best of all, if you are a Firefox user TrashMail has a Firefox plugin you may download.

Now remember the saying “if it is too good to be true it probably is”? It kind of applies to TrashMail. With all the perks of TrashMail there is one small kink in the system and it comes in the form of a legal disclaimer:

Remember: This is not an anonymous mail service. This service is subject to the German law of telecommunications data retention.

Now I am not particularly familiar with the “German law of telecommunications data retention” so I can’t say if this disclaimer makes or breaks TrashMail. What I can say, however, is that if something in your e-mail is so important that you don’t want anyone else to see, you may want to consider not using a temporary e-mail/anti-spam service for it.

Overall I feel TrashMail is yet another handy tool to help you fight dreaded spam. Before I end my post here are some screenshots for you to enjoy:

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This is the short form you fill when you want to create an e-mail from their website

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This is the confirmation page you see after you have created your e-mail

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This is the “control panel” you may login to for your e-mail

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This is the confirmation e-mail people who send e-mails to your @trashmail.net will receive if you enable CAPATCHA

You can visit TrashMail and download the Firefox plugin from the following link:

Click here to visit TrashMail.net

Click here to get the Firefox plugin

Thanks Ozzie!

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15 comments

  1. BeachSandGuy

    Hey all. Personally my favorite to controlling spam is using e4ward.com. With it you can create an unlimited # of email addresses dedicated to one purpose and have them fwd to your real email address. Then you know if someone gets ahold of it if you get spam from say bestbuy@bob.e4ward.com.
    So you create a root email, like beachsandguy.e4ward.com, and then for each new email, for example if I register at staples.com, I can use staples@beachsandguy.e4ward.com. Its a great service, and it is free!!! Also they’ve been around for many years, not going anywhere :)

  2. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @macnomad: I visited it, um, well right now. You are looking at the wrong thing. The TrashMail Plus service is optional. You don’t need it. Look at the register tab in the box in the middle of the homepage. From there you can register for TrashMail Free.

  3. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @macnomad: No they don’t. What happened is before they didn’t require people to register. Now you must register. However, registration is free. You have the option to upgrade to TrashMail Plus if you want. I use TrashMail pretty much every day without ever paying a dime.

  4. Esquire

    The German Federal Constitutional Court has deemed the current German law of telecommunication data retention – which BTW only applied to the logging of IP addresses and not its content (the latter is strictly forbidden according to German privacy laws) – as illegal as of March 2nd 2010 and required the immediate deletion of all data retention logs.

    However, there is an EU law for data retention (which the German law in its version overapplied and again only applies to IP addresses and not communication content) which after a transitional period forces all EU member states to integrate it into their national law.

    Germany now has to rewrite that law from scratch without overreaching and in accord with its constitution.

  5. giovanni (King of Freebies...LOL!)

    Hi Ashraf!!

    YES I know it!!

    Recent researches indicate that 90 % of all email are spam, meaning generic drugs, how to enhance your manhood (LOL!!), replica watches. low-interest loans, Porn link, Nigerian bank fraud, Paypal and eBay account updates that demand your passwords etc….

    SPAM not only wastes your time but it’s also dangerous, because it invades your life and your privacy and most of the time infects your computer with Spyware and Trojans so as to steal your identity and credit card number.

    So NO FUNNY BUSINESS!!

    As far as I’m aware other 2 great tools to fight this regrettable phenomenon that nobody, including you, has mentioned here, are the following ones:

    SPAMFIGHTER FREE EDITION (for OUTLOOK EXPRESS users only!!)

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/E-mail/Anti-Spam-Tools/SPAMfighter-Standard.shtml

    And above all….

    the pretty unknown but very effective indeed antispam tool called AGNITUM SPAM TERRIER!!

    Were you aware of it??

    Let’s give it a try man…you won’t regret it!!

    AGNITUM SPAM TERRIER Key technologies:

    - Self-learning anti-spam engine
    - Interface integration with your favorite email program
    - Whitelisting and blacklisting options based on user-specified criteria
    - Adaptable, behavior-driven detection

    KEY BENEFITS:

    - Save time and inbox space by having Agnitum Spam Terrier automatically filter out unwanted correspondence.

    - Defend against malicious and fraudulent messages.

    - Never miss a valid message from a friend by having Spam Terrier define white and black lists, along with your personalized settings.

    - Enjoy the highest accuracy of message processing by training Bayesian filter and adjusting sensitivity thresholds.

    - Never get lost. Spam Terrier delivers a user interface that is easily manageable, with convenient, intuitive controls attached to the main client application.

    - Fast and efficient operation.

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    Supported platforms: 32- and 64-bit Windows (Vista, XP, Server 2003, 2008), Windows 2000 (SP3 and above).

    Minimum hardware requirements: 450 MHz CPU(x-86/x-64/multi-core), 256Mb RAM, 100MB free disk space.

    Supported e-mail clients: The Bat!, Windows Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook (all versions).

    Supported protocols: POP3, IMAP, HTTP (MSN, Yahoo, AOL).

    http://www.agnitum.com/products/spam-terrier/index.php

    ENJOY!!

  6. Ozzie

    “What I can say, however, is that if something in your e-mail is so important that you don’t want anyone else to see, you may want to consider not using a temporary e-mail/anti-spam service for it.”

    I concur with the guru. This is a good program to use when trying out software that requires you to submit an email address, or for when you want info from a site without then having to be bombarded with endless follow-up spam. As Ashraf mentioned, it also allows you to input any name you want and gives you choices in the domain name. I really like it because, as a Firefox extension, it’s just a right-click option. Easy as can be. No having to log on to other sites to do what I want to do.

    The disclosure provisions, as far as I understand, are standard – meaning that if you are using the service for some nefarious purpose, then the company could be compelled to give details if requested by authorities. So, as Ashraf said, if you are using Trashmail for something like this, then you might want to try another option.

    However, for the basics such as trying out software and the like, it’s a really good option. Worth a try, at any rate. I tried a few progs before Trashmail, but for ease of use and the options available, I have stuck with this one. Hasn’t let me down yet.

  7. hahaguy

    I second Stockel1949. Yopmail is great. One of the best temporary inbox service that I have ever used. Try it…you will fall in love with it. You can read more about Yopmail here:

    http://www.ghacks.net/2008/09/25/disposable-email-address-yopmail/

    For those who are interested, you can find some more temporary/disposable email services here:

    http://www.ghacks.net/2007/05/28/list-of-20-temporary-email-services/

    P.S. Hope Ashraf don’t mind me linking to Ghacks.

  8. Stockel1949

    You can also use “Yopmail”.

    Free, multilingual and easy.

    See here what they say about the service :

    Disposable E-mail Address

    You Name it, Yopmail has it!

    YOPmail’s free, quick and feature rich service guards you against spam, phishing and other online abuses. Protect your actual email, instead use YOPmail’s disposable one to sign-up wherever you want. YOPmail creates temporary inboxes of your choice instantaneously. Use Now & stay Protected!
    No Registration!
    No Password!
    Auto generated inbox!
    Messages are kept 5 days!

    How does YOPmail Protect you?

    As a safe practice, do not reveal your original email frequently at sign-ups. Your information could be abused. Use YOPmail’s free disposable email addresses, to protect you against spam and phishing.

    * Use ‘any-name-of-your-choice’@yopmail.com to sign up anywhere. Email sent to the ‘address’@yopmail.com is instantaneously created at YOPmail server. No registration required for checking your temporary inbox at YOPmail
    * Easily check your disposable inbox at YOPmail.com or directly go to http://www.yopmail.com?name-of-your-inbox
    * Inboxes are not password protected. Hence, choose an unique inbox name or use YOPmail’s Address Generator. You can also use your inbox’s email alias for extra security
    * Additional :
    · Messages are kept 5 days. You can also manually remove them.
    · To prevent abuse of service, sending emails from YOPmail is prohibited. You can however, send an anonymous email to another YOPmail address.

  9. david roper

    Once I got on an investment service mailing list that would not “let go”. Every day I would get “spam” that looked like a legit business offer. The trouble is that I did not want to see it everyday. On and On and on. Stop, already!!

    The emails had only places to fill in so bouncing it back would not work.

    So I looked up the business using Google and a little later, I also found the person’s name who owned it, and searching even some more I found his business email address.

    Simple now. All I did was forward all my mail that I received from that place to him.

    In less than a week I was taken off their emailing lists.

    I guess he got tired of it too.