Fight Spam – Mailinator

I’ve seen this site referred to a few times and thought I’d go to check it out. Mailinator is an anonymiser service which is free to use. Rather than rehash what’s on the front page, here is what it’s all about:

Have you ever gone to a website that asks for your email address? (haven’t we all). You know that the moment you type it in, it is streaming across the net on its way to every spam database in the world. You simply can’t be that careless with your personal email address.

What if there was a website that any and every email address you can think of already exists. And you use any one you like, anytime you like – just by thinking one up.

Welcome to Mailinatorâ„¢. It’s like super-instant, always-ready, any-email-you-want email. Right now. It’s your personal disposable email account. Here is how it works: You are on the web, at a party, or talking to your favorite insurance salesman. Wherever you are, someone (or some webpage) asks for your email. You know if you give it, you’re gambling with your privacy. On the other hand, you do want at least one message from that person. The answer is to give them a mailinator address. You don’t need to sign-up. You just make it up on the spot. Pick schminky@mailinator.com or funwump123@mailinator.com — pick anything you want.

Later, come to this site and check that account. Its that easy. Mailinator accounts are created when mail arrives for them. No signup, no personal information, and when you’re done — you can walk away — an instant solution to one way spammers get your address. It’s an anti-spam solution for everyone. Your temporary email account will be automatically deleted for you after a few hours.

Let’em spam.

And from the About page:

Mailinator is meant to be used by people on a semi-regular basis when they simply “need” an email address right now. One that they know they won’t need later. We know this is going to work since its basically something we wrote to use ourselves. Why not use it? Its free, never asks anything about you and is always ready to go. It fills a real gap.

This is one of those “one time” services. You create a mail address for the purposes of signing up to a site. Once an email is sent to the mail address, Mailinator creates a mailbox for it. You read the email and decide what to do about it. After a while, the mailbox is deleted. There is no security or password for this account – it’s a temporary thing only. So if someone wants to read your mail, all they have to do is put the mail address into Mailinator and read the mail. As long as the box is still live, of course. For this reason, it’s unwise to consider using the mail address for the long term.

Since some sites have become wise to this, there are alternative domains available via the service to ensure your mail gets through.
Anyway, if you feel you need a service like this, here it is.

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Posted on 22 January, 2006, in Computer Stuff, Generalities, How To. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I read about it a while ago, but I never looked at it – and I usually use one of my three email addresses anyway! 😉 But it’s a great resource if I ever need it – thanks for the link 😀

  2. Oh – and cool plugin! I’m gonna have to get SK2 for meself as well 😉

  3. SK2 is pretty cool – there seems to be a small error in the coding – it doesn’t go to /wp-admin/… it goes to http://wp-admin/… which means I have to hand type the url for the various sections of it. But thats a small thing.

  4. Oh – haha! Have you let the developer know? They seem like pretty big bugs… 😉

  5. Yeah – I will do at some point.

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