Things have changed drastically over the years, especially when it comes to maintaining your online privacy.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, if you needed to provide your email address online, for the most part you could just make up one there on the spot. For instance, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
These email addresses didn't even need to exist. Most websites didn't check to see if these email addresses could accept email. Usually they just checked to make sure you had that "@" symbol and some .com, .net, .edu or .org top level domain (referred to as the big-four).
Over time, website owners realized that people mis-typed their email addresses and wanted/needed additional confirmations of the email addresses. So started the time when you would need to enter your email address, and then enter it again to confirm. Since many people simply copy/paste their original input box into the confirm input box, the results were marginal at best.
In the early/mid 2000s, social media sites and dating sites started becoming more popular and with them, these sites started emailing all sorts of notices. Things like, "someone looked at your profile", "someone poked you", "someone left you a comment" and so on.
These legitimate websites started sending out crazy amounts of emails and were running the risk of looking like spammers to the ESPs.
The websites needed a way to prove their reputation to the ESPs and started validating their user's email addresses more strictly to do so.
On sign up, these websites performed a bunch of checks, including: Does the mail server actually exist? Does the email server accept email? Is the email address provided actually accepted by the email server?
Only upon validating all these questions did the website accept the email address as valid and let the user into the site.
At this point, most people only had one email address. It was most likely the email address your internet service provider (ISP), or possibly your school gave you. Though people were starting to use free email web software like Hotmail and Gmail.
With only one email address, and using it for everything, from banking and personal correspondence, to social and dating accounts, it is very easy to track the same identity across the web.
Enter, the temporary email address.
People realized the need to for alternate identities online. One that they could use for work, one for personal, one for pleasure amongst others.
Today, we still think that EmailOnDeck provides the best temporary email service to protect your online privacy. We do not track your emails, and we wipe our logs daily.
We empower you and help you continue to protect your privacy while online from the thousands of individuals who want to steal it from you.
Be safe out there!