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Temporary Email Glossary

Attachment - A file that gets sent with an email.  It can be benign like a friend or family's photo, but also used frequently to spread computer viruses through email.  Attachments are stored as plain text within the email itself.  More information on how to view attachments here: View a temporary email attachment.

Anonymous Email Sending - Sending an emails in a way such that the email can not be tracked back to a specific individual.  Very difficult to do.

Backscatter SPAM - Forging an Envelope Sender Address so that when a bounce email occurs, the receiving mail server incorrectly sends the email to an unsuspecting email address, instead of the correct Envelope Sender Address.  This is a way for spammers to send out their emails without compromising their identity to the final recipient.  Properly set up mail servers should not be affected by this.

Burner Email Address - Another name for a disposable email address.  Usually used when talking about disposable email addresses with respect to politics, data and news related leaks.

CAN-SPAM - Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing, Act of 2003.  Legal legislation in the USA put forth to establish standards with respect to commercial emailings.

Catch-all Email Address - A mail server that accepts all incoming email for the domain it manages.  Without a catch-all email address set-up, a mail server will not accept email for an email address that doesn't exist in their system.

Commercial Email - Email whose contents include something commercial in nature.

Disposable Email Address (DEA) - A functional email address that is designed to be used either once or a limited amount of times.  Not to be confused with a Temporary Email Address.

DKIM - DomainKeys Identified Mail.  Uses a domain name identifier and a cryptographic process to validate a domain name identity that is associated with a message.  A valid DKIM TXT DNS record must also be in place from the email sender.

DMARC - Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance.  This email authentication and reporting protocol designed to protect against domain spoofing.  Though it arguably doesn't provide much more than SPF, the reporting feature is key in that it allows the actual domain owner to become aware of unauthorized emails, using their domain, being sent.

DomainKeys (DK) - An email authentication process designed by Yahoo.  No longer actively used by the mass majority of email authorizations.  Has been superseded by DKIM.

Email Alias - A false email address that is used for a front of actual email address.  Typically, these are difficult to detect, as an alias usually forwards emails to the actual email address in a private space (e.g. On private servers, not the public web).

Email Bounces - Emails that are unable to be received by the email recipient.  Hard vs. Soft.  Hard bounces usually mean the email recipient does not exist, and the email sender should not send any more email to that address.  Soft email bounces mean the email recipient can't currently receive emails.  This could be because their email storage space is full, they've been received emails at a rate faster than what is allowed, etc... In any case, bounce is temporary and the original email sender can try sending email again to that recipient at a later date.

Email Client - A program that lets you interact with and manage emails.

Email Fraud - A type of fraud.  In general, the intentional deception to get gain from another's loss through the use of email.

Email From Address - The email address from which a user should send their reply message.  This could be a completely different domain from that of the actual mail server's domain that originally sent the email.  Not to be confused with the Envelope Sender Address.

Email Hacking - A specific type hacking.  The unauthorized use and/or reading of an email account.  This can be targeted to a specific email address, or a large company wide attack and breach.

Email Harvesting - The process of obtaining lists of email addresses using various methods*.  Internet spiders can scraping the web for email address, email addresses being bought and paid for, and/or phishing for additional email alias and addresses are all forms of Email Harvesting.

Email Logs - The log files associated with sending and receiving emails on a given mail server.  These logs include time stamps of when and from where email messages were sent and received.  Temporary email service providers such as EmailOnDeck secure wipe these logs within a short time period, usually a few days.  Log files left unattended can quickly become extremely large GB files causing all of the available disk space to be filled up, ultimately causing the mail server to crash or stop working.

Email Scanning - The act of an ESP to scan your email's contents in order to build a "data" profile on you.  Typically this is used to promote relevant ads to you.

Envelope Sender Address - The mail server email address of who sent the address and where bounce messages and other errors should be sent to.  Not to be confused with Email From Address.

Email Service Provider (ESP) - An overarching term that describes any company that provides email services.  An ESP could offer a complete suite of email services like Comcast, it could provide newsletter and trigger sending email services like MailChimp, or it could provide temporary email services like EmailOnDeck.

Email Spoofing - Creating and sending emails with a fake sender address.  The sender address may be real, but not associated with actual sender, or it may be completely fake, and not associated with anyone.

Email Tracking - The process in which companies track email "opens" and "clicks".  When viewing an HTML based email, a small 1x1 transparent pixel is typically placed inside the email.  Email clients will then request this image to be shown and by doing so, provide the IP from where the email is being viewed, the date and time the email was viewed, along with other personable identifying information (PII).  When clicking on a link (or copying and pasting a link) a user may be sent to transition page that tracks similar information, such as, IP address of who clicked the email, the referring URL from where the link was clicked, time and date when the link was clicked and additional personable identifiable information.

Fake Email Address - A functional or non-functional email address that has the correct email syntax.

HELO (EHELO) - The way mail servers should first greet each other.  EHELO provides more options for communications and transactions.

Identity Theft - the illegal use of someone else's personal information (such as a Social Security number) especially in order to obtain money or credit*.

List Rental - When a company that has collected a lot of email addresses, sends an email on behalf of another company.  This other company will pay the company who owns the email list for the service to "rent" the email address lilt.

List Sale - When a company with a list of email addresses sells them to another.  Ideally, this should be a purchase of the "publication" and therefor similar emails, sending frequencies and content should be the same.  In actuality, email lists that are sold are frequently re-sold over and over again.  These new companies who receive the resold email address simply claim that they are all "opt-ins" and use other shady tactics to try and stay above the law.

Mail Exchange Record (MX) - A type of DNS record that specifies the address of the mail server that handles the given domain's email.

Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) - A computer that forwards email from senders to recipients (or to relay sites).  It may or may not store incoming email.

Mail User Agent (MUA) - See email client.

Md5sum (MD5) - A common way to track email addresses without needing to know the actual email address.  MD5 is not encryption or encoding, but a hash function which now currently is known to have extensive vulnerabilities.  MD5 hashes of email addresses allow advertisers to buy and sell information they have collected about you to other companies which by some is considered a loophole in order to avoid privacy related issues.

Multi-part MIME - Sending of an HTML and text version of an email.  Not all email clients provide support for HTML, some because they're out dated and some because of privacy protections.  For instance, an email sender can not track the number of emails opened when viewing a text version of the email.  If an email sender knows that a email has been opened, they know they presume the email address is active and valid, and then can sell that information to other companies.

One Time Email Address - A functional email address that can only receive email once.

Phishing - The attempt to collect private or sensitive information from a person via email in a manner that disguises it's attempt.

Privacy - The quality or state of being apart from company or observation*.

Pseudonymous {or pseudo-anonymous) - False name.  Bitcoin by itself is a good example of pseudonymity.

Remailer - A mail server that anonymously forwards email to help disguise the email address of the original sender.  Remailers can be set up to forward only certain emails, email domains, or for public use.

Secure Wipe - Data erasure (sometimes referred to as data clearing or data wiping) is a software-based method of overwriting the data that aims to completely destroy all electronic data residing on a hard disk drive or other digital media by using zeros and ones to overwrite data onto all sectors of the device. By overwriting the data on the storage device, the data is rendered unrecoverable and achieves data sanitization*.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) - We're not talking sunscreen here.  SPF helps to protect Sender Address Forgery by letting email clients validate, via DNS records, that the mail server they received email from is authorized to send email for that domain.  It's currently also known as SPFv1 or SPF Classic.

SPAM - Unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses*.  SPAM is not an acronym with regards to email.

Temporary Email Address (TEA) - A functional email address that exists only for a limited amount of time.  This could be 10 mins, an hour, or a few days.  Not to be confused with a Disposable Email Address.

Temporary Email Token - Unique token to retrieve temporary email address.  Used by EmailOnDeck, more information can be found here: Temporary Email Address Recovery.

Temporary Mail Server - A mail server that exists for only a limited amount of time.

Temporary MX Records - MX records that exist for only a limited amount of time.

Throwaway Email Address - Another name for a disposable email address or throw away email address.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) - Evolved from Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).  TLS provides secured email transactions.  Without TLS, emails are sent in plain text.  Any individual or company that sees the email through their communications can view the email.  With TLS, one would only see encrypted text.

Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) - Is a specific type of SPAM.  UCE is email that has a commercial purpose behind it.  For example, emails that encourage you to buy products and services.

Verify Email Account - A process in which an email address is verified.  Usually occurs by sending an email to the email address that requires validation.  In the email a unique link is provided that a user can click on which then tells the email's originator that email address is in fact valid.

Whitelist (Email Client) - Used in your email client (AOL, Yahoo, Outlook etc...) to make sure specific email addresses or email domain domains don't end up in a JUNK or SPAM folder.

Whitelist (Mail Server) - Used by ESPs.  If a mail server is on an ESP's whitelist, emails sent will not be put in a JUNK or SPAM folder.


We'll continue to update this page as new terminology comes in to play.  If you have any suggestions, edits or additions, please contact us.

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