Filling out online forms these days is often times an invitation for disaster. Most of the form is okay, until you get to the part where you’re asked for your email address. Depending on the site, once you fill in that field, you’re setting yourself up for spam, even though the site says it protects your privacy.
That’s where a disposable email address comes in handy. Yahoo Mail Plus, $19.99/year, offers what it calls “AddressGuard“. “It lets you create disposable email addresses to use whenever you don’t want to give out your real Yahoo! Mail address, but when you do think you’ll probably want to receive what this source sends you—a receipt, or an invoice, or some other valid communication. Yahoo! AddressGuard directs messages sent to these addresses into your Inbox so you can see them.
You can create many alternate addresses and access them all from your Yahoo! Mail Plus account. If any of your disposable addresses starts getting spam, you can just delete that address.
If you don’t have, or don’t want to have a Yahoo! address, Anonymizer Nyms, $19.99/yr, is a tool that allows you to create and destroy alias email addresses in an instant. Anonymizer Nyms shields your real email address by allowing you to create a unique Nyms (disposable, email alias) every time you need to provide an email address or send an anonymous email. Anonymizer Nyms allows you to send email anonymously since Nyms email aliases can’t be linked to you. One click turns a Nyms alias address off to stop spam instantly.
You can use a different Nyms alias for every site you visit or correspondent you email.
All emails from your Nyms account are delivered to your real email account. You can set your Nyms addresses to auto-expire after a period of time you choose. (Taken from www.anonymizer.com)
Google mail doesn’t offer disposable addresses per se, but there is a way to set up aliases and filter the mail. There’s a great article on it here.
To sum up, a disposable email address is great when you want to sign up for something online, or when you need to give your email address to someone, and you want the ability to delete that address if it starts getting hit with a lot of spam. The email sent to the disposable address will be delivered to your regular email address but will identified as from the alias email so you’ll know which address is getting spammed. You protect your main email address and have the ability to control spam, by deleting the alias/disposable address when it starts to get hit.