If you've ever been laying in bed at night and asked yourself, "What in the heck is a temporary email address?", then you've come to the right place. If you've never asked yourself that question in your entire life, that's ok too, you still might be at the right place!
Today, I will do my best at answering the what's and why's of temporary, disposable email. What it is, why you would ever need it, and how it might be something you've gone too long without.
Sit back, relax, pour yourself whatever it is that tickles your fancy and come with me down the rabbit hole of disposable, temporary email.
So, what exactly is temporary email?
First things first.
Temporary email has a ton of different names. You might know it as disposable email, throw away mail, burner mail or simply temp mail. Think of any "trash", "fake" or "disposable" type names, add the word mail or email to it, and the end result probably translates to temporary email.
Second things second.
In a nutshell, temporary email is an email address that you used for a short period and then discard. Note that I said email address. The key difference here between a regular email address and temporary email address is that you are not just deleting an email, you are throwing away an entire email address.
This sounds awesome! So how does it work?
Temporary email addresses have the same flow that any normal email addresses would have, with a few key differences. To help understand these key difference, let's look at the basics of regular, and temporary email.
Standard, permanent email:
- Find an email service such as gmail, outlook, yahoo, etc.
- Register for an account by filling out all of your personal info
- Find a username that hasn't been taken, something like CoolMike23953@gmail.com
- Use this email address everywhere
- Find a service offering disposable email address (hint, we offer it)
- The service generates a (usually) random email address for you to use
- Copy the address and use it wherever you'd normally use an email address
- Go back to the service and wait for your incoming email the same way you'd normally check for an email
- Do your business and walk away, never looking back
So, now we have a high level overview of the differences between temporary email and regular email, let's dive a bit deeper into each step above and determine why you would use a temporary email address instead of your primary email address.
Step 1: Find a temp mail provider
The first step of the disposable email stairway is to find a temp mail service that you like.
Pretty much all of them are web based, meaning you'll generate, copy, and read all of your emails through the provider's website just like you would gmail, yahoo, outlook, etc.
FakerMail, the website you are on, just so happens to offer temporary email. Simply click the home button, and you'll instantly have a temporary email address that is immediately ready to use. You can even download the FakerMail Browser Extension to easily keep track of your temporary address and to get instant notifications of all incoming emails.
That said, I'm not here to force your hand. I know you like choices just as much as the next person, so **I've written one of the most in depth articles on the internet on temporary email services which you can read here: ** 10 Best Temporary Email Services for 2020
Step 2: Generate a temporary email address
Depending on the service you choose, you will probably be given a temporary email address that is ready to use out of the box. Some services (such as ours) allows you to change the username, ie. firstname.lastname@example.org to whatever you want. Perhaps bigMike@fakermail.com suites you better than email@example.com, perhaps it doesn't. Point being, some services do not allow this feature. Now, it's not a deal-breaker, but sometimes it's nice to change it to something more memorable assuming you want to easily recall it.
Shameless plug: Generate unlimited addresses at the click of a button and forget about remembering your address with our Browser Extension which keeps track of your temporary email address for you.
Step 3: Use your temporary email address
Once you have a fresh, fancy new email address, you are ready to use it. Hooray!
This part is simple. Fill out any form that requires an email address the same way you would any other email address and that's it. Nothing to it. No fuss no muss.
Step 4: Wait for incoming emails
Like mentioned earlier, most temp mail services are web based, so you just sit back and wait on their home page for your emails to roll in.
Did I mention already that we offer a pretty wonderful Browser Extension that hooks right in to your web browser and notifies you on all incoming emails? Pretty great, right? No need to sit on the homepage and wait, just copy your FakerMail address from the extension when you need it, use it where you see fit and immediately get notified of all incoming emails. E-Z-P-Z lemon squeezy.
Step 5: Dispose! Destroy! Delete!
Now, temporary email wouldn't be very temporary if it wasn't, well, temporary, right?
The key to temporary email is the fact that it's disposable. Disposable in the sense that you can choose to walk, or run, away from it.
Use it once or use it one trillion times it doesn't matter.
If you feel the need to start the day fresh with a brand-new disposable email address, that's absolutely up to you. If you feel like you want to be the world record holder for the person who has had a temporary email address for his entire life, that is also up to you! You be the judge on how you want to do it. You do you! This, my friend is the beautiful thing about disposable email.
The pros and cons of a temporary email address
Now would be the perfect time to explain why you would, and perhaps why you would not use a temporary, disposable email address.
Let's quickly go over a few pros and a few cons of temp mail.
One of the absolute best reasons to use a temporary email address is quite possibly the most obvious.
Pro #1 - Spam
Spam is the number 1 annoyance that has plagued the email world. Wikipedia states that over 54 BILLION spam emails are sent each day. That's a whole lotta useless junk. Temporary email accounts help you fight spam by quite literally just deleting the messages you receive after a short period. Get the mail you care about, walk away and Bobs your uncle.
Pro #2 - Anonymity
Being anonymous isn't always about being some l33t hacker who wants to hack the planet. Sometimes it's great to not have to enter your personal details in to every website that requires a valid email address to do something.
Be it some kind of sales funnel where a website might require you to enter your email address to get access to a recipe only so they can send you 5 thousand emails trying to sell you a product after you've long since forgotten about what it even was you ate.
Heck, sometimes you just want to stay anonymous when creating a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok (insert other social media accounts here) account.
Also, temporary email is pretty darn phenomenal for forums, which brings me to the next pro.
Pro #3 - Staying Safe
Have you ever wondered how the heck someone got access to one of your online accounts? You felt that you did everything right, but somehow it still happened?
Enter the world of data breaches.
Let's say you are firstname.lastname@example.org, and you use your credentials on Website A, your bank for example. Website A is a pretty strong website, they adhere to most online security practices and are all around a secure website. Then years later you've used the same credentials on Websites B through Website Z, one which might not be as secure. When a data breach happens on one of these websites, your email / password combination is now compromised. You are now vulnerable on Website A.
Now, I know what you're thinking, and I hope you're right, "I don't repeat my credentials anywhere!". Hats off to you, because that's awesome. Sadly, there are a few times when its human nature to slip up, get lazy, or whatever you might call it, and use the same email / password combination on multiple sites.
A disposable email account removes this possibility from the equation simply because, ideally, you'd be using a completely unique email address for anything random you might sign up to.
Pro #4 - Keeping Clean
Just like taking a shower is perfect for cleaning off the day's filth, a temporary email address is perfect for keeping your inbox clean.
Eventually, and I know you know what I mean, your primary inbox gets to the point where it is out of control. You find yourself fighting to keep it empty, then just give up all together. Maybe you've been there, maybe you haven't, but it can be rough.
The aggressive tactics used by pretty much everyone in the email marketing industry keeps your inbox full of junk.
Eventually you get smart and create another account. You tell yourself, "Ok, this is my new address, and I will only give it to people who matter".
Of course, that never works out because you just get use to using that account.
Time goes on, and you find yourself entering it everywhere. You come across the chance to win the Jelly of the Month Club and BAM, in goes your "new" email address. Back at square one.
Temporary email is perfect for things like this. Use it, abuse it, it doesn't matter.
Pro #5 - Price, or lack thereof
While I can't speak for all services, FakerMail is absolutely free and will always be free.
I wrote an extensive breakdown of the 10 Best Temporary Email Services for 2020 to help you make up your mind on choosing what you feel is the service right for you.
Pro #6 - No Registration Required
One of the best features about temporary email addresses is an easy one.
There is no signing up required.
No forms to fill out, no information to give, everything is instant, anonymous and ready to use.
Now while I cannot say this about all email services, FakerMail is in fact instant and ready to use without a single piece of information from you.
Con #1 - Banned??
Temporary email addresses tend to have a bad reputation. Let me explain why.
When a website asks for your email account, there are usually two primary reasons.
Reason one is simple.
An email address is by far the only unique piece of information on the internet that will directly differentiate you from me. I have my email address, and you have yours. There is no confusion between you and me digitally. We simply use our email address as the determining factor of who is who across the web.
Reason two is a bit more interesting.
Ever enter your email address into something because you needed quick access? Perhaps an article that required an email address to "continue reading"? It seems harmless enough. Who cares, right? Well, there is a reason for this.
It's called email marketing.
Let's look at the most basic email marketing system, the email marketing funnel.
The email marketing funnel is simple. You give up your email address for access to something, thinking nothing of it, and time goes on. What you may - or may not - understand is that you are now a prospective lead to becoming a customer. That might be fine, you might not care, but the idea behind it is 100% always to get your email address to open the door to converting you from a prospective lead to a customer, one way or another. This is a huge business tactic and probably the number 2 reason behind "junk" mail, other than spam.
That said, why are so many temporary email domain names banned?
Well, it isn't because temp mail users have malicious intent. In fact, it's almost always the exact opposite. We just want to stay anonymous. It is because this anonymity that admins decide to ban temporary accounts.
When a company knows it can't continue to sell you on something, your email address becomes useless to them. Sending out an email to a person who has no interest in buying their product, is, well, pointless. Thus, a lot of admins simply blacklist disposable email accounts at the domain name level.
Disclaimer: I am a fan of email funneling. Please don't get upset with me, this is simply what I feel is the truth.
Con #2 - Potentially unsafe
Is temporary email safe? I said it was above, why is this a con? Well, as much as I'd like to say temporary email is safer than permanent email, I'd be a fool to suggest such a claim.
Temporary email is safe in a way that it will keep you anonymous. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no registration page, no entering user details or anything of that nature.
Generally speaking you are safe to the point that you can simply walk away from your account and generate a new one and start fresh like some super cool spy guy in your favorite action movie.
That said, like permanent email, temporary email is just as dangerous if you are silly about it. While most temporary email addresses should never really receive any unwanted emails since they are generated freshly for your eyes only, there is still the chance you enter your temporary email address into a website that has malicious intent.
If you find yourself in a situation where you might be entering in your temporary email address into some crazy place, it's very important you use common sense. FakerMail doesn't allow attachments for this reason. Most attachments in the temporary email world are dangerous, thus discarded for your safety.
Con #3 - Passwordless, thus potentially guessable
Temporary email is almost always passwordless. The reason being is to keep users anonymous. No need to register, your information stays safe with you.
We offer the ability like almost every other temporary email service to input your own email username, for example, email@example.com. While this is super easy to remember, you have to understand that anyone can enter the same address as their own. Due to the nature of the way temporary email addresses work, and the convenience behind them, this is very common across almost all services.
That said, most users don't care about this. After all, the purpose of temporary email addresses is in the name itself. Temporary. Use it and walk away.
Now, if you find the need for a temporary email address that you absolutely must keep private, the solution is simple. Generate an address that is theoretically unguessable. UUIDs work wonderful for this. The chances that somebody else chooses firstname.lastname@example.org is exceptionally thin. Don't feel like you have to have an easily guessable temporary email address! You don't!
Con #4 - Lifespan
While this is probably a huge pro for some, it could potentially be a con for others. The lifespan of a temporary email address is both great, and not so great depending on how you want to use it.
A temporary email address probably isn't something you'd be using on your resume, but it's great for something a bit less sensitive. Add that to the fact that most services auto delete your emails after a short period, you'll quickly see why you wouldn't want to use a temp mail account for communication with gram gram.
FakerMail offers temporary email for as long as you want. Other services might not. You can find a full review of The Top 10 Temporary Email Services on my article which happens to be titled the 10 Best Temporary Email Services for 2020.
I'm ready. How do I get started?
Hopefully I've tackled much of the reasons behind why you would ever want to use a temporary email address and hopefully you understand a bit more about why you would need a disposable email address. Let's talk more about how to actually get one.
Finding a temporary email service is easy enough. Putting aside the fact that you are reading this article on a site that offers a temporary email service, a quick Google search for the topic returns what seems to be thousands of options. But, what are the differences between them? Why choose one over the other? Surely there has to be a difference between so many different options, right? Well, you're in luck. I've decided it's time to break down The Top 10 Temporary Email Services and tear them apart piece by piece to see why someone would choose one over the other.
Check out the article 10 Best Temporary Email Services for 2020
Thank you for your time, and don't forget to keep your inbox clean with FakerMail!