How to protect your online identityTNN | Apr 22, 2011, 10.31am IST
Email spam may not be much of an issue anymore, thanks to the effective filters that email providers use. But various websites, blogs, online forums and online services that you sign up for still ask for email IDs during registration.
In many cases, the email ID is used just once: for you to click on an account verification link that you get in the mail. Later on, those websites might even start sending 'special offers' and other mailers, which are never easy to unsubscribe from. That's where temporary or disposable email IDs come in handy - you can make an email ID which is active only for a pre-determined amount of time - or you could keep an anonymous ID active to protect your identity (to use when commenting on online articles, for example).
Since this disposable ID is not attached to any personal information, it will be impossible to find out anything about you from that ID alone.
Disposable email IDs have other advantages too: obviously, no registration is required for them and you can create as many as you like. One of the most popular services is www.mailinator.com, but you can also try www.spambox.us, which creates a temporary inbox valid for a time of your choosing, and forwards all mail it receives to your real ID.
--Hitesh Raj Bhagat