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What is a disposable email address used for?

Guest Author:  Jotax

Almost every website on the internet requires users to have an email address in order to register a new account or obtain an offer. Unfortunately, it is not always clear what the email address will be used for after it is submitted. It may be obvious that the email address will be used as a point of contact for sending future emails, but what is lesser known is who exactly will be sending those emails, how relevant or useful will those emails be, how often will they be sent, and what information can be obtained from an email address. A common method for preventing primary or important email addresses from being spammed, shared, or sold to unwanted parties is to use a disposable email address.

A disposable email address can be used for signing up for free offers without having to see unwanted or excessive promotional emails. A very common marketing method used all over the internet is to offer something of value for free in exchange for a name and email address. This is sometimes called a "lead magnet" or "bait". It could be a free ebook, a list of recipes, a sample of a product, access to a webinar, a workout plan, or a "how to" guide, amongst endless other offers. The businesses that give away free offers send follow up commercial emails to the submitted email address in order to further promote their products and services. Rather than using a primary email address, a person who is skeptical about the business giving away the free offer could submit a disposable email address in order to obtain the free offer and keep their primary email address clear of further emails from the business.

Viewing restricted content is another use for a disposable email address. Many blogs and forums will allow unregistered users to view just a sample of an article or thread. After scrolling down the page a few times, the website may block the visitor from reading any further without the visitor registering an account on the website. Again, if the visitor does not feel comfortable giving out their primary email address, they can enter a disposable email address and continue reading the content of the blog or forum on the website without having to receive unwanted emails to their primary email address later on.

People engaging in activities who want to maintain a level of anonymity can benefit from a disposable email address. A relevant example of this is people who buy or sell on Craigslist. Despite how useful Craigslist may be, it does have a reputation for attracting the occasional shady character. Posting an ad on Craigslist won't reveal the email address a user signed up with, but responding to someone who contacts the user about the ad, will. Any users who are particularly cautious about unknown or shady individuals knowing their email address might consider changing or registering their Craigslist account email to a disposable email in order keep some anonymity.

People using the internet can rest assured that their primary email address will remain safe the more often they use a disposable email address. Using a disposable email address allows internet users to maintain anonymity, access web content, and obtain free offers without sacrificing the privacy of their primary email address. Ongoing promotional offers, spam mail, and unknown contacts can all be drastically held off and redirected away from a primary email address and to a disposable email address.


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