An anonymous email is an email where the recipient cannot see the sender’s details such as their address and other information that would identify them. They are among the perfect anonymity tools that we can use to protect our identity.
Every day, we use emails to communicate with our colleagues at work, friends, and family. However, there are times when we want to send an email without revealing our identity or leaving a footprint. This might be for various reasons such as fear of retribution, providing information about a crime, providing an opinion without drawing attention to ourselves, or even sending secret admirer note.
Anonymous emails are generated by websites that promise their clientele complete anonymity when sending them. The emails omit email addresses, reply address, the path from sender to receiver, and the time identification stamps that show when the email was sent.
Types of anonymous email
There are two types of anonymous email
Just as the name suggests, these are email addresses generated to be used only once or for just a short time before they are destroyed. Such emails come in handy in situations where you are required to provide an email address to view some content which you know you may never return to later.
Permanent Shielded anonymous email service provides you with a fake email address that allows your messages to be sent to your private inbox. The biggest setback with this kind of anonymous email is that if you’re using major email providers like Gmail or Yahoo, you will have to create a new inbox or forward your email address from the permanently shielded email to your inbox.
Many people assume that these types of emails are only used for malicious purposes, which is not true.
Below are some of the uses of anonymous email;
Hiding your real email ID to prevent spam
Using online tools, users can harvest email addresses from web pages, discussion boards, and mailing lists. After these emails have been collected, they may be sold to third parties where they are usually used for bulk emailing which means spam in your inbox.
To tell the truth
Anonymous emails are a great tool to find out what people think about a product or service. They are also perfect for expressing your opinion particularly where the recipient has a history of not taking criticism kindly. Anonymous email might be a smart approach to use because you will get the message across without exposing your identity.
Many of us have been told to speak up when we see something wrong being done at the workplace or in the society. However, whistleblowing can bring you many problems after the fact. Therefore, when you are living in fear of retaliation, an anonymous email will perform the trick. With convincing proof, you can report corruption, prevent crime, report bad civic services, foil child abuse, tip the media, etc.
6 Best Privacy Conscious Email Service Providers
In the wake of the Snowden’s Revelation, most people are anxiously looking for the best anonymous email service provider to improve their internet privacy and security. Emails are central to any sound communication system as they transmit sensitive information which if compromised, can result to irreparable loss.
We provide you with a list of the 6 most secure email service providers.
TorGuard is an anonymous email that is highly recommended. The anonymous email comes with OpenPGP Encryption to help you communicate in privacy, protects your email against Man in the Middle Attacks, and provides you with True Inbox Privacy to prevent an email provider snoop your inbox for marketing as well as advertising purposes.
With Tor you get:
Unlimited mail storage
End to end security and protection
MITM attack protection
Two factor Authentication
Perfect Forward Secrecy
Offshore email storage
Secure email deletion
Zero advertising or marketing
Works on any OS or Device
24/7 dedicated help
TorGuard has several Email plans on offer ranging from monthly, quarterly, and yearly. However you get 10mb Free with TorVPN service.
Forbes once referred to Prontomail as “the only email system NSA can’t access.” Their location in Switzerland makes it impossible for the US to shut them down or even order them to produce information. The email service offers end-to-end encryption and does not log its users. The service is free of charge, but paid accounts are available that come with premium features.
Mailfence is a secure private email service based in Belgium. Mailfence offers end-to-end encryption, digital signatures, spam/virus filtering, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Mailfence supports IMAP, POP, WebDAV, CalDAV, and LDAP protocols. The email service offers connection security features TLS1.2, HSTS, and the Perfect Forward Privacy and prioritizes AEAD cipher. Mailfence enforces strong passwords, Two-factor Authentication, strips IP address from email header by default and also provides user-side blacklisting filters. Mailfence is a highly recommended security-conscious email service.
Posteo.de based in Berlin is also an excellent email service that offers privacy protection for its users. The email service offers two-factor authentication which is an important feature in denying access to your account even where your password is compromised. It is a paid service with plans starting at €1/month for 2 GB storage. The email service does not require any personal information at the time of signing up and even allows anonymous payments using bank transfers, PayPal or cash.
CounterMail is a powerful, secure email service that uses open PGP’s encryption protocol with 4096 keys to protect your data. CounterMail supports Windows, Linux, Mac, and OSX. The email service offers a secure USB key option that enables you to access your account without inserting USB keys into the USB port. It also has IMAP support for those who want to use their own email client.
Tutanota offers end-to-end email encryption. It is an open source and free email service. Tutanota is super easy to use and what we liked most is the fact that an encrypted email in Tutanota doesn’t require the user to manage keys or understand a lot about internet security. Another stellar feature is providing non-Tutanota recipients of encrypted emails a special account that enables them to respond to the email message that they receive securely. Tutanota app is available for Android and iOS.
The Best Temporary/Disposable Email Services
We have come up with a list of some of the most reliable disposable email services that you can use to prevent junk in your email account. You can generate as many temporary email accounts as you want and use them for tasks such as verifying your online accounts. Do not use the temporary email address for your long term or permanent accounts such as Twitter or Facebook. It is recommended to use a disposable email address only once.
Mailinator Disposable Email Address Service
Mailinator is a superb temporary email service provider that lets you create a disposable email account in any name. You can use the created email account to send emails anywhere. The email is visible to the public using any device. So if for example your user name is Send, you will have an email that appears like this: [email protected] and is visible to everyone including those who do not possess an account or password. Take advantage of Mailinator if you do not want your real email account to get spammed. However, your emails are automatically deleted within a few hours and there is no way you can recover them whatsoever.
2. Guerillamail: Helps you Receive and Send Anonymous Emails with Attachments
Guerrillamail is a leading temporary email service that will help you to avoid spam and stay safe. You need not register to use the service and you can attach files up to 150 MB anonymously. Guerillamail will keep your emails for an hour and also allows you to change the user name of your disposable account. Guerillamail supports mobile version.
3. 10 MinuteMail Temporary Email Service
10 Minutemail is a popular disposable email service that allows you to create an email account that you can use to avoid exposing your real email account to spam. The service will as their name suggests keep your emails for ten minutes. However, you can extend the time limit for ten minutes continually but eventually; your emails will be deleted. 10 Minutemail will not allow you to create a temporary account in your name. Also, you will not send anonymous emails with attachments.
4. NADA Throw Away Email Address Creator
Nada is a user-friendly temporary email service generator that’s easy to use and allows you up to 10 mailboxes at the right sidebar. When you register for the service, you are given a temporary email that you will use when registering on untrusted sites. If the site sends spam, it will go to the temporary account instead of your main email account. With Nada, there is no sign up or passwords, ‘and the emails stay for up to 7 days before they are deleted.
5. AIR Temporary Email Address Generator
If your looking to keep spam out of your mail box, keep your real email safe, then AirMail is your perfect disposable email address generator. The temporary email generator strips hidden tracking code in HTML ensuring that the sender does not get user name or browser details. Activation is instant , and there is no user name or passwords needed.
How to Prevent Email Hacking
As businesses go digital, cybercrime which includes email hacking is on a high. The Yahoo Mail hack, Democratic National Committee, Sony Pictures, and most recently the Deloitte hack is enough proof that email data is valuable to hackers and as such, no organization is safe, not even the NSA.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent or reduce the risks associated with email hacking.
Ø Use email service that supports end-to-end encryption
We say end-to-end encryption and not just encryption. End-to-end encryption is a system that’s implemented to defeat surveillance or tampering of data by third parties. The message is encrypted by the sender and the only person who can decrypt it is the intended recipient. The server does not have decryption keys meaning that even where a hacker has access to the email server, he cannot decrypt the encrypted email because the server does not possess the decryption keys. Using an email service with PGP is among the most ideal ways to implement end-to-end encryption.
Ø Restrict Administrator Accounts
Limit the logging into administrator accounts to certain dedicated secured computers not used for other purposes.
The computers should use full disk encryption
The logging computers should not be removed from the organization offices to minimize the risks to system theft.
Use Two Factor Authentication to log into the administrators account
Take care of the administrator passwords by not storing them on computers with network access. The passwords must always remain in the organization premises.
Strictly enforce the Two Person Rule whereby the administrator password and the second factor device are kept by two separate persons.
Ø Reduce human risk with good policies and training
Email hacking is a real threat which ought to be addressed holistically. Having good policies in place such as the Two Factor Authentication in an organization can go along to way prevent the hacking of the organizations emails. Training is also a must so that everybody in the organization not only appreciates the importance of good security practices, but is also empowered with relevant knowledge on how to prevent possible email security breaches.
Anonymous email services can help you to improve your security with end-to-end protection of your emails. Disposable email services can help you free your real email account of spam. However you should know that most of them will only keep your emails for less than a week and so, they are excellent for temporary use.