Anonymous recipient

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: Is it possible to receive email anonymously? I don’t intend to do anything illegal, but occasionally I’d like to use an anonymous email address to sign up for reading websites or for temporary communication purposes.

A: A website called Mailinator (mailinator.com) lets you create any email address and check it anonymously. For example, I sent an email to sillygoat@mailinator.com and then visited mailinator.com, entered this new email address, and instantly read the message.

Be aware that the sender is not anonymous and the email is not private. In fact, all emails received via Mailinator can be read by anyone since no password is required. (Of course, I will mention that unless encrypted, all of your previous and current emails are vulnerable to being read by anyone willing to capture and record your emails using a local-area network (LAN) sniffer device or program, both of which are widely available.) You cannot send email via Mailinator (although you can forward an email via Mailinator), and all email gets erased from the Mailinator server after a few hours.

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