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Easy Throw-Away Email Addresses 297

Posted by kdawson
from the bug-me-not dept.
netbuzz writes, "A fellow teaching himself Seam has come up with a clever Web app called 10 Minute Mail. It gives you a valid e-mail address — instantly — for use in registering at Web sites. Ten minutes later (more if you ask), it's gone. You can read mail and reply to it from the page where you create the throw-away address. Limited utility, yes, but easy and free."
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Easy Throw-Away Email Addresses

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  • Sounds a lot like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tessaiga (697968) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:35PM (#17025558)
    what Mailinator [mailinator.com] has been providing for years.
  • Just buy a domain. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ikeya (7401) <dave AT kuck DOT net> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:42PM (#17025702) Homepage
    I have my own domain and I can create an unlimited number of throwaway addresses. If they behave, I keep it active. If it starts getting spam, I know which business I can't trust and I direct it to /dev/null/

    For example, if I were to register with slashdot, I could just use slashdot@mydomain.com

    I can keep it around for as short or as long as I want.
  • by madhatter256 (443326) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:44PM (#17025740)
    Won't this actually help spammers? Email addresses that are thrown away thus they can't be completely stopped spamming a specific forum or inboxes.
  • by Bemmu (42122) <lomise@uta . f i> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:46PM (#17025780) Homepage Journal
    This service shows how effectively promoting your service can really make a difference. While Mailinator has been around for a long time, somehow this 10minutemail has managed to get lots of exposure. I wonder did they really get all these mentions around the net just organically, or was there heavy promotion involved? If the success came organically, perhaps it's because 10minutemail is easier to understand. Just from the domain name it's easy to guess what the service is for.
  • by krotkruton (967718) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:52PM (#17025906)
    Here's one point. Let's assume you use one email address for all of your registration needs, including forums (and shopping if you really want to drive this point home). Over time, that email address will be linked to a variety of sites, which together can be used to identify you. Of course, depending on how you use the sites connected to the email address, there may be nothing that can be used to get your actual identity or you may have used your name on a couple which leads people to you (or you might use your credit card on a shopping site). Now you, or your identity depending on how you want to look at it, is linked to that email. This probably isn't a big deal for most people. Now let's pretend you want to sign up on an Anarchists website, which is something I wouldn't recommend in the US right now, so now that email is linked to you and linked to anarchy. That might not be something you want. That example doesn't work for you? How about signing up for a porn site that requires email but no credit card? What about a torrent site? An email address that lasts only 10-minutes should make it harder for people to link things that you do back to you.

    (Before anyone jumps down my throat, I said it "should make it harder" not impossible, and I didn't say that it makes it hard because I don't know the difficulty of doing such a thing. I just said it would be harder than using one email address for everything.)
  • by VGfort (963346) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:59PM (#17026020) Homepage
    It will just be a matter of time before people that write forms make these email addresses not available to be registered with. I've seen some apps that already block some of the other fake email generators.
  • by Anonymous Crowhead (577505) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:10PM (#17026170)
    What's the point of having an email address that's only around for a few minutes when you could just use a single throwaway email address for all of your registration needs.

    One throwaway is the best way to go. What if you forget your password for one of the many sites you registered at? The 'I lost my password' function is worthless if there is no longer an address to retrieve it at.
  • by Zarel (900479) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:22PM (#17026364)
    The problem with that strategy is that sooner or later, companies will realize that particular feature of GMail, remove everything between the + and the @, and bam! It doesn't work any more.
  • Re:Banned (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:23PM (#17026392)
    Thanks for being such a huge fucking faggot, bitch!
  • Re:Vs. Mailinator (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jaime2 (824950) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:27PM (#17027190)
    No one would ever figure out to strip everything after the plus before selling it to spammers. That would be far too difficult and wouldn't work for a large number of accounts.

    The + address just lets you catch the ones that are accidentally leaking your address. Anyone being aggressive will have your real address. That way you won't have any of the spam that is periferally related to things that you are actually interested in, but you will get tons of Viagra and porn spam. Yay!!!
  • by gilesparsons (919174) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:33PM (#17027264)
    there is an odd privacy from spam.la, the privacy of crowds, much as there is a privacy you get from being on cctv at every step in a crowded city of millions that you do not get from being in a village. any message sent can be read by anyone; so although everyone can read your email, because it could be sent to anybody, it is, in a different way, private.

    it is very exciting that at the same time london police want microphones on street corners to complement cctv, i can set up an anonymous email address within seconds. technology does not necessarily make lives less private; it just changes the rules of the game.
  • by Dark Coder (66759) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:35PM (#17027292)
    NOT SO!!!

    If the mail provider allows account holder to just only REJECT the localname having NO TAG [wikipedia.org] (the beginning part of the email up to the '+' or '-' sign) so that only

    joe@doe.com

    gets rejected...

    BAM!

    Instant selective email address to the following:

    • joe+friends@doe.com
    • joe+family@doe.com
    • joe+slashdot@doe.com
    • joe+spammer@doe.com

    This forces the spammers to even perform MORE dictionary attacks against a SINGLE email address. The longer the +tag, the harder the guessing attack will succeed!.

  • Re:Vs. Mailinator (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wayneo13 (950853) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:43PM (#17028414)
    Don't you mean to defeat client-side checking?
  • by ThJ (641955) <thj@thj.no> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:24AM (#17029128) Homepage
    On a site I run, we've had constant problems with saboteurs using these kind of services for creating accounts in order to spam some paint chat rooms we've set up. We've been forced to restrict access to new users, and other measures. To sum it up: It's good that e-mail addresses are easy to create, but it's bad that e-mail addresses are easy to create.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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