How to make a throwaway email account to avoid spam from the websites you sign up for

  • You can make a throwaway email address using a variety of free online services.
  • Throwaway email accounts are a great way to avoid spam, and can be used to quickly sign up for websites that require email verification.
  • There are two types of throwaway email accounts: permanent accounts that will last for as long as you need them, and disposable accounts that only last for a short time.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Think of a throwaway email account as a digital landfill for spam.

Most websites ask for your email address when you make an account, even if it isn't necessary to use the site. A good majority of those sites will then start sending you weekly or daily emails — newsletters, sale offers, notifications, and other stuff you probably don't need.

And this isn't even mentioning the sites that sell your email address to ad agencies, or accidentally leak their data, which just means more spam for you.

One of the best ways to avoid this sort of spam is by using a throwaway email account. A throwaway email account is an account that has no connection to you, and only exists to hold all the spam you don't want. They're perfect for the websites that require you to give an email, but you know you have no interest in hearing from again.

There are two kinds of throwaway emails. You can create a permanent account through Gmail or Outlook and only check it when you need, or use a free service to make a disposable account that only lasts for a few minutes or hours.

Both options work. You can use a permanent address if you think you'll need to check the newsletters or coupons you receive later, and a disposable account for sites that you never want to hear from again.

How to make a permanent throwaway email address

Making a permanent address is as simple as creating a new email account from your favorite email service. Here, we'll use Gmail.

This way, if you later want to check up on the email you're receiving, you can do just that. 

1. Visit Gmail's page for creating new accounts, which can be found here.

2. Enter a name — ideally, you'll want it to be fake — and a username that's different from other usernames and email addresses you use. This way, you can't be connected.

3. On the next page, enter whatever personal information you choose. Again, since this is a burner account, you can fake it. But if you think you might forget the password and need to recover it, you can enter a real phone number or email — that'll be kept private anyway.

4. Agree to the terms and conditions, and then log into your new account.

Now in the future, when a site asks for your email, you can give them this address. You can log into it to confirm verification emails, but otherwise leave it to collect spam.

How to make a temporary throwaway email address

There are a number of services that create "burn after reading" style email accounts. These let you use the email for quick verification, then will delete the address so you never have to think about it again.

There are a variety of these sites, but we chose 10 Minute Mail because it's incredibly easy to use.

1. Visit the 10 Minute Mail site. You'll be immediately given an email address, an inbox (with one email from 10 Minute Mail by default), and a timer. Once the timer runs out, the email account (and everything in it) will be deleted.

2. Copy the generated email address and use it for whatever site wants it. 

3. As soon as they send an email to it, refresh the page, that email will appear in your inbox. Click it to open it.

4. Once you're done, just close the page. In a few minutes, everything will be deleted, and nothing can be traced back to you.

If you realize that you need more time — maybe the website doesn't send the email immediately — click "Give me 10 more minutes!" underneath the email address. You can extend the timer up to 100 minutes.

You can also click "Give me another email address" to immediately delete this throwaway email account and get a new one.

Once your disposable account is deleted, a new option will appear: "Recovering deleted email address." If you click this within a few minutes of the account being deleted, you can temporarily recover it and its emails.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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  • 7 easy ways to speed up your Windows 10 computer, from disabling unneeded effects to upgrading your hardware

  • How to stop emails from going into your spam folder in Gmail in 2 different ways

  • How to mark email as spam on your iPhone's Mail app and move senders to your 'Junk' folder

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