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Protect Yourself from Spam with Free Disposable Email Addresses

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You’ve found some cool free software you want to download but the site requires your email address before you can download the file. Are you concerned that, soon after signing up for the download, your email inbox will be inundated with unwanted spam emails?

Don’t worry. There is an easy, free solution. Spamgourmet allows you to create special email addresses you can enter on sites like the one mentioned above and protect your own email address. You specify how many email messages you want to receive at the address you create.

If you use the basic “no-brainer mode” of spamgourmet, once you set up your account, you most likely won’t have to visit the site again.  To set up your account, enter a user name and the email address you want to protect. You will be asked to identify the word in a picture and to specify a password.

You will receive an email at your protected address asking you to confirm the address. All emails sent to spamgourmet disposable email addresses will be forwarded to your protected address. That’s why you must provide a valid email address to spamgourmet and confirm it.

Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you can give out disposable email addresses you create that will self-destruct after a certain number of emails have been received at that address. You can use these disposable email addresses anywhere, online, on the phone, at a store, etc..

The following is the format used for your disposable email addresses:

someword.x.user@spamgourmet.com

The term “someword” should be a word you have never used before, “x” (optional) is the number of emails you want to receive at this address (up to 20; 3 is used as the default if this is left out of the email address), and “user” is the user name you used when you signed up for a spamgourmet account.

For example, if your user name is “nomorespam4me” and ABC Company wants your email address on their site to download a file (or on the phone or at a store), you can give them the following email address instead of your personal email:

abccompany.5.nomorespam4me@spamgourmet.com

The first time ABC Company sends you an email at that address, it will be created. You don’t have do anything extra to create it on the spamgourmet site. Up to 5 emails sent to that address will be forwarded to your personal email address and then any future emails will be swallowed up in the ether.

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If you want more options, choose the “advanced mode” tab. Advanced mode is like no-brainer mode, but it does require you to visit the spamgourmet site to set additional options for your account. It doesn’t cost anything.

You can specify trusted senders, watchwords, and a prefix. You can also turn on and off reply address masking, and view/edit your disposable addresses. For more information about the additional options, see the advanced mode tab on the spamgourmet site.

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Spamgourmet will never send email with attachments. If you get an email with an attachment from spamgourmet, DO NOT open it. It’s probably a virus or malware.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 04/26/13

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