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A temporary address

tech reviews Updated: Feb 16, 2010 20:05 IST

You have just come across a new website at xyz.com that offers an interesting ebook for free. The offer is simple — you give them your email address and they’ll send you the download links for the ebook directly to your Inbox.

Now while the website policy clearly states that they “won’t sell your email address to third-parties”, you aren’t feeling very comfortable sharing your private email address with a website that you’ve never heard about before.

What do you do then? Would you skip the offer just because you’re worried that you might be swamped with spam? Well, there’s a simple solution to this common problem — just get a disposable email address that will auto-expire after a few hours (or days), so even if they spam the address that you shared on the website, your main inbox will remain unaffected.

There are quite a few websites that offer disposable email addresses for free but my favourite is 10 Minute Mail available at www.10minutemail.com .

Just visit their homepage and they’ll give a temporary email address that you can use anywhere on the Web just like your regular email address.

If the other website sends you a reply (like a confirmation email), it will instantly appear on the 10 Minute Mail homepage (they refresh automatically using AJAX) and you can also reply to or forward this message without revealing your actual email address.

The email addresses generated by 10 Minute Mail will self-destruct after, you guessed it, ten minutes.

- Amit Agarwal writes a technology blog at http://www.labnol.org/ .