How many times have you signed up for a coupon, a sample or sweepstakes and reluctantly given away your email address? If you’re an extreme couponer, I bet you do so at least once a day. You really want the savings or the chance to win, but you don't want the problem of unwanted emails…yet you really want that coupon or sample! What if you could sign up for all those goodies and contests with the guarantee that you wouldn’t have to worry about spam? You can, by using disposable email addresses through a service called Spamgourmet (and it's FREE, of course).

Disposable emails

Disposable email addresses are ones you create on the spot as needed. With Spamgourmet, you can create an unlimited number of disposable addresses that mask your "protected" (real or permanent) email address. The kicker is that they’re temporary, as the name implies. When a sender uses the disposable email, they can send up to three emails max (delivered to your protected email address, no need to check another site). In other words, the email addresses will self-destruct after three uses. Spamgourmet will intercept and eat all messages thereafter—before you ever see them. Another way to look at it: the company has three chances to convince you to keep them on your email list.

Using Spamgourmet

Here's how Spamgourmet works. First, create an account—setup takes an easy 30 seconds, after which you won't need to visit the site again. You just choose a user name, input the email address you want to protect, create a password, and confirm your email. That's it! Now you're ready to give out disposable email addresses. So, let's say my Spamgourmet username is SallySaver. Instead of using my real email, I provide an email like someword.SallySaver@spamgourmet.com. ‘Someword' can be anything at all that I make up on the spot. For example, 'someword' for me is usually the name of the product I want to print the coupon for, the name of the company I'm asked to register with, a generic word like 'sample' or 'contest,' or today's date.

When not to use Spamgourmet

I don't suggest using a disposable address on websites that have ongoing interest for you. For example, I wouldn't use it on cvs.com since that's a regular store for me. And I wouldn't use it on sites that have promotions on an ongoing basis that I don't want to miss out on.

Options

Spamgourmet is no-frills. Once you’re set up, you don’t ever need to go back to the site. If you're so inclined, you can fine-tune some options to your preference under the “Advanced” section. But if you just want to change the default number of three emails, you can simply insert any number 1-20 right into the address, like so: someword.10.SallySaver@spamgourmet.com. Simple as that, you just created an email address that a sender can use a maximum of 10 times.

This is a guest article by Jung from Los Angeles. 

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Disposable Email Addresses: Sign Up for Offers Without Worrying About Spam