There are several reasons why you or your patrons might want to use a disposable email address: maybe it’s for anonymity, maybe you want to avoid tons of SPAM from a site when all you need is a validation email, maybe you just want to make a post to a forum and be done with it forever, maybe you’re up to no good.  Who knows?  As a librarian, I don’t need to know why you need an anonymous email, but I can give you some tools to help out!  There are many options out there, but I’m just going to highlight a couple.

10 Minute Mail: If you’re in a hurry, and you don’t want to deal with any “extras,” then this is a perfect option.  Simply visit the site, and your disposable email address is shown.  You have 10 minutes to get that email out there and await any replies.  Then, it expires.  You can easily add 10 more minutes if you’re still waiting on something to arrive in the inbox, conveniently displayed below the email address.  That’s all there is to it.

GuerrillaMail: This site functions a little more like a traditional email service, while still being temporary in a sense.  Instead of your email address expiring, it only keeps mail in your inbox for an hour before deleting.  The inbox is open though, meaning anyone who knows the address can check the inbox which means you should get as creative as possible with your address.  You have minimal control over your email domain.  You can use the scrambled one you are given upon visiting the site, or you can choose your own address.  Personally, I favor any address @sharklasers.com.  One great feature this site has is the ability to compose messages.  So, you can actually use your GuerrillaMail address to send email, and even file share.  The website is a little clunky (it’s been around a while) but effective.  It also offers a password generator under “Tools” if you’re into that sort of thing.

There are many other options out there.  Some are more robust, but if your goal is a truly temporary and disposable email address, these are two good options.  Both are free, and both value your privacy… two very important factors in library land.

-Dee

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