Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email Why You Need a Disposable Email Account They're not just for avoiding SPAM anymore Share Pin Email Print Laflor / Getty Images Email Yahoo! Mail Gmail By Andy O'Donnell Writer Andy O'Donnell, MA, is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a senior security engineer who is active in internet and network security. our editorial process Andy O'Donnell Updated February 17, 2020 391 391 people found this article helpful A disposable email address is an email account that you set up for those times when you need a valid email address but don't want to give out your primary email. Let's look at some reasons why you might consider using a disposable email account. Avoiding Spam The number one reason why many people use disposable email addresses is to avoid having their primary email address become a target for Spam. After all these years, Spam (also known as unsolicited and unwanted email) is still a significant problem on the Internet. Whenever you register on a website that requires a valid email address, you might overlook fine print that gives the site permission to use your email address and or to sell the information to others. Using a disposable email address makes sense. It gives you the ability to register with a valid address, but it doesn't clog up your real email address with junk mail since the disposable email address absorbs all the Spam on your behalf. If the site you are registering with has any personal information on it that you want to be protected, you should choose your real email or a secondary email that is password protected. You shouldn't use disposable email addresses for anything finance-related or on sites that will contain sensitive information about you because many disposable email addresses don't require you to have a password to access your disposable email box. Protecting Your Identity Craigslist provides you with a free proxy (go-between) email address so that you don't have to reveal your actual email address to potential buyers or sellers, however, when you respond to a buyer or seller, your email address is shown. There are ways to try and obscure your true identity by changing the "From" field and whatnot, but the email header information might reveal your email address even if you changed the "From" field. To be safe, use a disposable email address for communicating with a buyer or seller on Craigslist or personal ad sites. Find out Who Sold Your Personal Information If you wonder who sold your personal information to spammers and other third parties, you might be able to find out. The next time you register on a website, use a disposable email address service that lets you create the address name (or at least part of it). Add the website name that you are registering with to the disposable email address name that you create. If you receive email from companies other than the website you used it on (assuming that's the only place you used that particular email address), you can infer that the site sold your information to a third party that is now spamming you. How Do I Obtain a Disposable Email Address? There are many disposable email address providers out there, some better than others. Some of the more popular ones include Mailinator and GishPuppy.