The internet is an often a frustrating double-edged sword. The more convenience and opportunity that becomes available, the greater the risk of your personal information being exposed and exploited. For every branded coupon, loyalty card, product, newsletter, or website registration that requires your email address, there’s a new addition to the aggregating digital footprint your email address leaves online.

The wider that footprint gets, the easier it gets for parties you don’t want anything to do with following your tracks. The good news is that the choice doesn’t have to be between “avoid anything that requires you providing your email address,” or, “accept all risk associated with malicious, criminal, or simply annoying misuse of your email address.” There’s a third option: a disposable email address. So, is it worth it to use an anonymous, disposable email address?

Avoiding Spam

Any online security expert who knows their business will tell you that the more effectively you remove personal information from Google, or from the internet in general, the safer you become. That sort of security is most important for guarding against the more catastrophic compromising of your personal information; chiefly, criminal and malicious intrusions. However, the more common consequence of email appropriation, spam, is perhaps just as good a reason. Get a disposable email address, use it for the product, service, or purchase you had in mind, and let it be the sacrificial inbox.

Protecting Your Identity for Commerce

This covers a variety of different types of commerce for a variety of reasons. Online forums like Craigslist offer anyone with an internet connection the opportunity to buy or sell pretty much anything. Their popularity and the millions of people using them speak to their convenience. The downside is that it’s incredibly hard to regulate and involves the sharing of personal information on a massive scale. It’s become notorious for scamming and spamming. Even the e-commerce sites with the most rigorous security protecting your information have been known to auction personal information off to (or from) data brokers. And that means more spam.

Beating Reverse Email Searches

Even when an email address doesn’t feature something as obvious as its owner’s name or another identifier, there are other ways that personal information can be gleaned from the address. Those same security experts who explain how to remove personal information from Google and elsewhere will additionally inform you that there are data aggregation sites that collect personal information. For a fee, those sites will provide that information, including to anyone who pays for a reverse search based on your email address.

Fortunately, one can create a disposable or masked email address with the help of a secure, competent privacy protector, such as Blur by Abine. Using Blur one can create a disposable email address (Blur Masked Email address) to help mitigate or negate aforementioned risks.

Personal Information Sale Sleuthing

This is a fascinating and revealing use for disposable email addresses. If you’ve been receiving spam but don’t know what organization is responsible for spamming you, give this disposable email address investigatory technique a shot. Develop a list of the companies you’ve given your information to, or those who you provided information to recently before you began receiving the spam. Create a unique disposable email address for each of those companies, and use it for interaction with each individually. And voila, the inbox that fills with spam has just identified the perpetrator.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe is a Boston-based online service striving to improve the safety and user experience of everyone who uses the internet. They are committed to doing so by returning control of users’ data to the user. Employing the considerable expertise of their team of privacy, identity theft, and consumer protection experts allows them to offer a full suite of user-friendly privacy solutions. Whether you’re concerned about payment security, password protection, removal from Whitepages, or anything else that contributes to your personal data staying private, DeleteMe is the ultimate online security solution.

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