Matthew Gates https://notetoservices.com 5m 1,203
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Alternatives to Email Addresses
Author Note: Since this article was written about 2 years ago, and just published now, some of these websites no longer exist, or have changed, but have been left in to preserve their memory.
When it comes to my pet peeves of the Internet, it is the email address. We often take it for granted, as most of us got it for free, and that free comes with a huge price tag that most of us never even think about. The email address might seem like it is just a free account to receive messages, but imagine having to pay money for an email address, and how much value it actually holds. The email address contains personal, private, and professional matters. We confide our entire world and lives into our email addresses.
Email addresses are so valuable that every company treats it even better than a social security number. Email addresses hold the potential to reveal investors, shoppers, and the gullible alike, people with money, people with a little money, and even people without money. The email address not only became a place where your attention was, but it became the advertisement bin, filled with ads and distractions.
Email addresses became the place of business and marketing spam. It has gotten to the point that most of the spam we receive in our emails nowadays, is not from random businesses or people that somehow acquired our email address from somewhere, but from companies that we willingly gave our email address to when we signed up and registered for an account in order to purchase whatever product we bought, use a particular service, or be a member of the social media community.
The whole system of email became so massive and such large businesses that for the average person checking their email, it has become a full-time job, or requires at least an hour a day to maintain the inbox. When we sign up for anything, we are exposing the way we receive communication to companies. Companies sell these email address lists to other companies.
While there are ways to unsubscribe from their lists, these companies have already sold the list with your email address on it, and so, while you may be removed from their list, your email address is likely on another company’s list, making it near impossible to have a completely private email address, unless you create one and dedicate your efforts to keeping it from getting exposed.
The email address has existed since the dawn of the Internet, where it was primarily introduced to the general public by the early Internet Service Agencies, CompuServe, Prodigy, ICQ, and was mostly popularized by AOL. It is the personal and professional way to get in touch with someone. Having their email address is like having their phone number. It was the surefire way to know they would communicate with you.
While many people get by without having an email address, or using it very little, the email address remains a valuable part of an online identity. Giving up all email is possible, but not recommended in the world we live in, as colleges, companies, and businesses require customers to have an email address. For employment and unemployment purposes, especially, you need an email address. We are not telling you to ditch your email addresses. We highly recommend you always keep one primary and one “catch-all” for your emails. This article will actually be focusing on websites that require signup.
As the World Wide Web became popular and evolved into what it is today, the email address became the staple of a personal identity online. Nearly every company realized the potential and the cost it was willing to pay to get millions of email addresses, and they were certainly willing to pay for it.
Navigate to any website with a sign up and registration process, and you will encounter having to enter in a username, password, and an email address. Having an email address was like being a part of the club, and the only way to get into the club, was to provide your email address, especially when it came to the e-commerce markets. They absolutely needed your email address so they could let you know when they shipped something or whether you completed an order.
As social media networks began to take over, the professionals who ran these websites realized that people were exhausted of the old ways, the days of filling out Internet forms to sign up for something, and the lengthy process it took. Most people despise signup and registration forms so much, myself included, that they will refuse to visit the website ever again.
With social media, registering for a website took the click of a button, and all the information from your profile could be grabbed. What information do they actually take? We hope its just your name and your email, but we will never know what other information these companies might be snatching up.
As time passed on and privacy concerns arose regarding the leakage of information about who you are and just how much information you are revealing on social media, many people stopped using the signup with social media option, distrusting it for whatever kind of information it might be seeking, fearing of exposing their privacy, despite the fact that it is and already has been exposed. Not so much credit card information and personal private information, but more about your personal profile, friends, family, and your story through photos, wherever they could be seen.
Fortunately, some of us prefer the old fashion method of still just registering without email addresses, to avoid additional information privacy giveaway. There are certainly several methods of registering the old fashion way that can be applied.
Giving out a personal email address would do just fine for most, while creating an entirely new email address dedicated to being the “catch-all” email address was another option. And then, there happened to be the best option: signing up with a fake email address that only exists for a temporary time period, long enough for the fake information to work and to protect privacy.
If you wish to use a website that requires a registration with username, email, and password, but don’t want to give up your privacy, personal email address, or any other information, you can always get a temporary email address that is discarded within minutes to a few hours. Just know that if you forget your password, you will have no way of recovering your account, but as far as remaining anonymous and keeping your privacy at bay, temporary email websites are perfect. You could also create a Yahoo or Gmail account with a permanent email that is serves as your “catch-all” email address.
Here are a few websites that create temporary emails:
We are always looking for more temporary websites. Feel free to add more in the comments!