Spend much time on the ‘net? Ever visit a page where you’re required to put in your email address, but feel a little unsure about whose hands your address will wind up in? <<Side note: you’re never supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but sometimes I can’t help it!>> Several years ago my brother turned me on to SpamGourmet, a website where you can register for disposable email addresses. You just pick a username, and then any time you need an email address and you’re not sure if you’ll end up with a bunch of spam, you just give out one of these disposable addys. Then, when the company tries to contact you, you still receive their email (SpamGourmet forwards the email on to your regular address), but only for a set number of contacts. Then, after that number is reached the emails will no longer be forwarded on to you.

From SpamGourmet’s website:

The disposable addresses are like:

someword.x.user@spamgourmet.com

where someword is a word you have never used before, x (optional) is the number of email messages you want to receive at this address (up to 20, and the number 3 will be used if you leave it out), and user is your username.

For example, if your user name is “spamcowboy”, and BigCorp wants you to give them your email address (on the web, on the phone, at a store – it doesn’t matter), instead of giving them your protected address, give them this one:

frombigcorp.3.spamcowboy@spamgourmet.com
(and frombigcorp.spamcowboy@spamgourmet.com will work the same way)

This disposable email address will be created here the first time BigCorp uses it (you don’t have to do anything to create it), and you’ll receive at most 3 messages, forwarded to your protected address. The rest will be indelicately consumed.

Since I print out a lot of coupons, I always use disposable addresses at sites that require me to register in order to get what I want. So far my regular inbox has stayed fairly clean from spam, and I’ve given out over 20 disposable addresses, so I think it’s working! 

Advertisements