You’re tired of spam and other nonsense email. And maybe you’ve found out that, on Gabriola, getting on one email list can mean that you find yourself getting email from five different groups and two commercial entities. Yikes. What’s a person to do?
Here I’ll tell you how to get free disposable email addresses: addresses that will forward your mail to your real address, but only work for so many instances, unless you specify otherwise. It’s great for avoiding spam and all sorts of other email annoyances.
The service I use for this is spamgourmet, which is free. They’ve been around for over a decade, and I’ve been using them for just as long. They have never once done me wrong, and they’ve got a fine reputation.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say my username at spamgourmet is zingychocolate. It isn’t, but let’s just pretend.
Now, suppose I meet you at Twin Beaches and we talk about the boats you build. I want to give you my email address so that you can send me more information… but I don’t want to give you my real email address. I’ll make up a spamgourmet address right there on the spot, just for you. It it will be something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The boatguy part will remind me of who you are when you write.
- The 4 means that you can send me four separate pieces of email. If you send a fifth, I won’t get it. It will just disappear into the void, unless I go to my spamgourmet control settings to say that you’re an ok dude after all, and should be allowed to send me unlimited messages.
- zingychocolate stands in for my real username at spamgourmet.
- spamgourmet.com is just the way it all wraps up, with the spamgourmet domain name.
Easy enough, isn’t it?
Now when I buy a thing from Amazon, I can use a spamgourmet address that is only for Amazon. When I join a Gabriola club, I can give them an email address that I’ll use only for them. And on and on.
Suppose I suddenly start getting spam. If I’ve used spamgourmet for everything, I’l know right away who’s done me wrong. If I see that spam is coming to me through the email@example.com address, I’ll know it’s the gabriolacafename people who’ve shared their mailing list.
Note the number in the email address – once I’ve received 7 emails, this address will expire, so no big deal there. If I want to end the problem sooner, I just log in to spamgourmet, change the settings for that email address, and poof! End of spam problem.
There are many more spamgourmet features; go read about them if you’re interested.
Now, if you’re really interested in stopping all spam, you would want to first get a new primary email address. If your firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org address is already getting spammed, why not kill off that address and start fresh with a new one? Become somethingelse at that place, then get a spamgourmet address to forward to your new, squeaky-clean email address.
Are there any disadvantages to using spamgourmet? In all these years, I’ve only found one. Every once in a long while, the spamgourmet mail server will slow down a bit, so the mail some guy sends to you through spamgourmet takes two hours to arrive in your mailbox. Crazy slow! On the other hand, this is quite rare.
So, spamgourmet. I recommend it.
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