Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
A page you visit teases you with an offer for a wonderful tip sheet, white paper or other resource, all for free if you just enter your email address. But your email address is one of the most valuable facts about you, and every time you give it out, you risk exposures to hackers, spammers and more.
Here are two simple solutions to controlling your exposure.
Make Fake Emails with Burnermail.io
Burner Mail is a tool that I used extensively when writing The BIGGER Book of Apps because I didn’t want all the tools I was trying out to have my email address! Add it as a browser extension to instantly fill forms with fake emails that forward to your real ones. That way you can test out newsletters or other resources without worrying about exposing your main email address. The free version gives you 5 burner emails that you can manage, swap out and use as needed. I upgraded to the premium subscription ($30 a year) to get unlimited emails and other upgrades.
Create a Temporary Email in 15 Seconds with EmailOnDeck
EmailOnDeck is a simple solution that keeps your email safe until you’re ready to trust a site. Until I got hooked on Burner Mail, I used it at least once a week.
Here’s how simple it is (about 15 seconds). Once you have your temporary email, you can use it for any form then check back with your temporary inbox to get the goodies.
Update to this original post!
One of the comments below was a criticism of these types of tools. What happened after the comment appeared proves the point that you should be very careful about sharing your email addresses. (Spoiler alert: I turned into a stalker):
They are giving you valuable content. It is a value exchange. This is by far the dumbest post I have ever read. If you don’t want the content don’t subscribe!
You do indeed make a great point. Some sites are giving you great content in exchange for your information. But some sites are just teasing you to get your email, which they will use and abuse. It’s a safe practice to guard your email until the site/service establishes trust.
But I understand your point of view. Unsubscribe away. 🙂
P.S. — To other folks who might read the above post… this person works as a senior email manager for a company that probably does indeed provide great content and has earned trust from followers. 🙂
I completely understood the premise of your original post – and as someone that receives WAY TOO MUCH spam – I appreciate your valuable post! Thank you!
Thank you for this idea about temporary passwords. I never knew this was a possibility. I do get e-mails about downloading things and sometimes I am hesitant to do it. With a temporary password, I don’t have to worry about it. Sometimes the download is more of a sales pitch then a valuable document.
a senior email manager and your post was the “dumbest post he ever read” ??? must be very new in this business or read one email a month. or just hates that you showed a way to bypass the email bombardment you get for downloading a one page white paper written by a high school kid with your real email address . keep up the great work!!!
I may be a lost cause but… three weeks or so ago, I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing and gave out my “regular” email to a company instead of my “yahoo.com” email that is only used for companies and contests. The VERY next day I started getting loads of spam in my regular email account and, adding more grief on top of this, I started getting spam to myself FROM myself!
My passwords got changed immediately but spam from me and spam from others still comes in daily. Is there any help or do I have to change my regular email address?
A related question: if I do change the account, is there a service which will forward emails sent to my old e-ddress to my new e-ddress? (My husband made up that term 20 years ago. I think it deserves more exposure!)
Your newsletters are full of good information. Thank you so much.
Thanks so much, Beth!! Ioved this post the first time I read it & can’t agree more with your video update. I love your reminders they’re the perfect kick in the rump about stuff I’ve become lax about and need to stop. You’re the best!
Hello there, My Nerdy BFF! You are amazing and your content is extremely beneficial. When I was still working, I made sure to sign up for your classes at the conferences I was fortunate to attend. I recommended you and your classes to everyone. And now that I’m no longer able to work, I still look forward to my Friday newsletters from you. And if this chic was the only person that has ever made nasty comments, I say that you excell in your job. There are always negative Nancys in the workplace and apparently that “company” has one. You’re the best. Keep on rockin’ because there are plenty of us that love you!