Use, dispose of, move on—are burner email accounts the gold standard for anonymity?

Can burner email accounts mask your digital footprint, or do they leave you vulnerable? Learn what level of security to expect and explore top solutions.
A disposable email ID is a valid option for users looking to improve the security of their online communication. It entails adding alternative credentials instead of their real info when signing up for a service they don’t trust. While people typically create burner email accounts to achieve online security and anonymity, it may not be the most reliable solution.In this guide, we will cover the essentials on burner emails, including:
  • Nature and uses of a burner email
  • Top disposable email services
  • Disadvantages of burner emails (with solutions)
We’ll also explain how to make a burner email with our top recommendations.
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Overview of burner email addresses—spam control and privacy

Burner emails are temporary or disposable email addresses that you can use for a short period and discard. Most burner email accounts can self-destruct, either immediately or after a designated time. They primarily serve for:
  • Signups to newsletters and websites with aggressive email marketing
  • Online quizzes and tests that require an email to unlock content
  • Throwaway accounts
  • Public forum attracting address-harvesting bots
  • Anonymous messaging or social media engagement
Spam control and online privacy are some of the main benefits of burner accounts. Not only is your inbox free from unwarranted emails, but you also enjoy a certain level of protection on websites that abuse privacy standards or have weak security protocols. Keep in mind that while spam management comes easy, burner emails don’t offer absolute anonymity or security.The three main features of a quality burner email are:
  1. Fast setup time
  2. No personal data collected during registration
  3. Limited period of existence (although many services have non-disposable accounts)
Based on the above criteria, let’s explore some of the best burner email services.

Five handy burner email services to consider

Most burner email providers offer accounts free of cost, so the choice of service depends on factors like efficiency, disposability, automation, and validity period. Check out our reviews for the following five options:
  1. Guerrilla Mail
  2. Maildrop
  3. 10 Minute Mail
  4. EmailOnDeck
  5. Burner Mail

Guerrilla Mail—create emails quickly, zero registration effort

Source: Guerilla MailUsing Guerilla Mail (an open source project) is fairly straightforward—you enter the website and get a ready-made email with a random address, ID, and domain name. You can edit the ID or pick one of the preset domain names.The platform allows you to compose, receive, and reply to emails. You can also send files up to 150 MB.
IDs are attached to IP addresses and last forever unless you use the Forget Me buttonThe website is accessible with HTTPS encryption only, which is the standard security protocol
Incoming mail remains accessible for an hourYour inbox data isn’t completely private as the service provider may use it for anti-spam, anti-malware, or anti-phishing research
.Anyone with your Inbox ID can view your messages, so be careful when sharing it
If you’re looking for a burner email service with an interface similar to Guerilla Mail’s, you can also consider FakerMail and Temp Mail—they’re pretty much the same in terms of longevity and usage.

Maildrop—for non-disposable burner email accounts with extra spam filters

Source: MaildropMaildrop also has no signup or password requirements. You can access the website and create your customized ID or choose an auto-generated one to enter your inbox. The inbox capacity is 10 messages, and there is no option to add attachments.Maildrop has additional spam filters built in to keep your inbox clean, which is probably necessary considering its low holding cap.
Maildrop IDs last forever Not privacy-friendly—anyone can type your ID and view your Maildrop inbox
Incoming mail can stay on the servers for over a dayThe platform does not track user activity for research or marketing purposes (unlike some of its competitors)

10 Minute Mail—truly disposable, perfect for verifications

Source: 10 Minute Mail10 Minute Mail generates an automated email ID with a 10-minute timer. You must complete the activity within the time window, and the address will self-destruct on expiry or when you close the tab or window—whatever happens first. There is no way to recover or revisit the inbox.10 Minute Mail is designed for verifications only, so you cannot use it to send emails. You can extend the one-way service by clicking Get 10 more minutes within 60 seconds of the email expiry.
10-minute, can be extended for up to 100 minutes in progressive 10-minute pocketsEmails travel between servers unencrypted, so they’re vulnerable to hacking attempts
.The Privacy Policy states that the website can ask for or collect data to contact or identify the user, which essentially beats the whole purpose of burner emails

EmailOnDeck—for temporary emails only you can access

Source: EmailOnDeckUnlike its competitors, EmailOnDeck offers a greater degree of privacy, as the inbox can be accessed exclusively by the user.While many websites recognize temporary email addresses and reject signups, EmailOnDeck usually does not let that happen.Here’s how to create a burner email with EmailOnDeck:
  1. Complete a human verification test (usually image-based)
  2. Click on Get Email to access your inbox
IDs are automatically created and cannot be edited. Besides using its services for verification, EmailOnDeck allows you to send and receive emails.
1–24 hours, depending on when you exit your browser or clear the cookiesRelatively secure with HTTPS and TLS encryption protocols
.Hosting facilities are SOC 2 Type II and PCI-DSS certified
.According to the platform’s website, its servers are continuously overwritten with new data based on traffic, so you can lose access to your inbox during peak hours
You can also go for EmailOnDeck Pro—it’s a 30-day paid service with advanced features for your temporary address.

Burner Mail—elaborate features and forwarding messages to your real email

Source: Burner MailBurner Mail is the most comprehensive temporary email service on our list. Once you sign up, you can:
  • Receive, send, and reply with the burner ID
  • Add multiple recipients
  • Have a dedicated Chrome extension
  • Have emails forwarded to your real email address
Burner Email has three plans:
  1. Free—5 burner addresses and a 7-day history
  2. Premium—$ 2.99/month, unlimited addresses and mailboxes along with custom domains
  3. Enterprise—Customizable
You need to provide your real email ID and set up a password to use the service.
As long as you maintain your accountBurner Mail is not particularly safety-focused as its servers store contacts, emails, and other user data like IP address, pages visited, and browser and device used

Burner email accounts—security and other drawbacks

Burner emails are convenient for filtering spam messages and can protect you from certain email or malware attacks, but that’s where the benefits end.These services have limitations because they cannot:
  • Offer real anonymity because your IP address, metadata, etc., can still be used to trace you
  • Guarantee the email will be accepted as it is common for websites to blacklist known temporary email formats
  • Ensure your data is wiped out from their servers
Many burner email services recommend using VPN for achieving full anonymity, but this method also suffers from significant vulnerabilities as not all VPN services are reliable. If you want true privacy, anonymity, and protection—choose an end-to-end encrypted email service like Skiff. You can have a real email account and an anonymity-friendly alias rolled into one free service.
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Why E2EE services are necessary for true privacy and anonymity

Encryption is the core of email security. It entails scrambling email content into cipher, with the plaintext version available only to the designated recipient with the decryption key. While most email services today offer some type of encryption, not all provide the same level of protection.Big Tech providers like Outlook and Gmail use TLS (Transport layer security) encryption, which is a standard protocol implementing encryption in transit. This method protects your data in transit, leaving it vulnerable while resting on the provider’s servers. Additionally, mainstream email services typically retain ownership of decryption keys, which means they have access to the plaintext copies of your messages.The only way to achieve complete protection of your online communication is to sign up for an end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) service.E2EE is the strongest security setup for emails. With E2EE, the message is encrypted on the user’s device and remains in cipher form until it reaches the recipient, the only person with the decryption key. The key is created and stored on the recipient’s device, ensuring nobody—not even the email service provider—can access your messages.

Skiff Mail—privacy, spam protection, and aliases for full anonymity

Burner emails don't provide true anonymity as someone with the right skills can easily trace your emails back to you.Get Skiff for a 100% anonymity-friendly email experience. The platform is specifically designed to meet the communication and productivity needs of privacy-focused users. You get:
  • End-to-end encrypted email service—Your emails and attachments are protected using two keys—one for encrypting emails and the other (created by the user and stored on their device) for decrypting them. This ensures that no third-party website, service, or even Skiff will ever have access to your content
  • Fast, zero-knowledge signup—Skiff login process doesn’t require any identifiable user data, such as your name or contact information. This ensures the platform’s servers cannot be leveraged by hackers to trace a user’s identity
  • Multiple aliases—Skiff allows users to create aliases for sending and receiving emails. You get a dedicated alias inbox, making it easy to keep your main inbox clean. Unwanted aliases can be deleted anytime
  • Spam control—Skiff has an intuitive spam control functionality that recognizes and separates spam and can be customized further based on your needs. The platform is also designed to be resistant to phishing, de-anonymization, man-in-the-middle, and other attacks. You can check out the controls in Skiff’s official whitepaper
Skiff also allows you to use your crypto wallet as login credentials and communicate and collaborate anonymously on the web.

Skiff—features and interface

Besides enjoying a secure inbox, Skiff users also get access to three additional end-to-end encrypted products, namely:
  1. Skiff Pages—for document/note creation and real-time collaboration
  2. Skiff Drivecloud storage allowing you to preview, upload, download, and share any file in a secure environment (decentralized IPFS storage is also available)
  3. Skiff Calendar—for encrypted event management and multi-device syncing
Check out some other aspects that make Skiff an all-in-one suite solution:
  • Availability
    • Browser
    • Android
    • iOS
    • macOS
  • Top features
    • Custom domains
    • Schedule and undo send
    • Full-text search (non-gated)
    • Automated replies
    • Customizable folders and labeling
    • Version history (for docs)
    • Multiple collaborators
    • Short aliases
    • Two-factor authentication option
  • Free plan
    • Available—comes with 10 GB storage and 4 aliases
  • Paid plans
    • $3–$12/month with storage of up to 1 TB and 15 aliases
Skiff’s user interface is beautifully designed and easy to navigate, which is especially important for new users. Get started with your free Skiff account today.

How to set up a Skiff account with an alias

If you’re looking for temporary emailing, you’d probably want to set up an alias with Skiff. Here’s how to create one for free:
  1. Go to Skiff’s signup page
  2. Enter a desired username and password
  3. Create your account and enter your inbox
  4. Navigate to Settings on the left panel
  5. Click on Aliases to add one
Use the Aliases tab to add or remove your IDs. You can also turn an alias into your default ID.

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