Here’s a free service I use to help minimize spam on my primary email address.
There are quite a few varieties of “disposable email addresses.” spamgourmet happens to be the one that I use, and I find that it works very well.
Here’s an example of how it works:
You want to sign up for that free sample of Chocolumps cereal, but you don’t want your inbox flooded with more “free offers” from everyone and their brother.
Instead of giving the makers of Chocolumps your real email address ([email protected]), you give them a special “made-up” email address: [email protected] “Keyword” is your spamgourmet username, and is the same for any address you make up. “Chocolumps” is a word you make up on the spot when you “create” a disposable email address. “5” means that spamgourment will forward up to 5 messages sent to [email protected] to your real email address. If the makers of Chocolumps keep sending you more email after that, or if they sell/give your email address to someone else, any additional messages get “eaten” by spamgourmet and you never see them. You can pick a number from 1-20, use a letter of the alphabet, or another word instead of “5.” For example, “1,” “a,” or “apple” all allow a single email to get through; “4,” “d,” or “dog” will allow four emails to get through; hopefully, you get the picture.
The advantage over other disposable email address programs is that you don’t have to go to a separate website or login to a separate account to get your email; spamgourmet forwards it to your real email address. You don’t have to go to spamgourmet to configure a disposable email address; you just make it up on the spot (you do have to go to spamgourmet once initially to configure your account). If you give someone a disposable email address, then decide you want to keep getting email from that source, you can do that too, and you can make it so a particular email address only accepts email from a particular address or a particular domain (for example, allow unlimited emails from generalmills.com to your [email protected] address, but email to that address from any other source gets eaten).
There are other features and ways to use the service; just go to spamgourmet.com and check it out. If you are in the habit of signing up for things on the internet, I know you will find this helpful. Did I mention that it’s free?