Tuesday, July 10, 2007

TechTip: Use an Email Privacy Mask

There's a neat trick you can play on the companies that manage your magazine and newsletter subscriptions. When you fill out the form for subscribing to Bathroom Stainers magazine, instead of your full name you could use a different first name---say, "BS Keane". Thus if that company happens to sell your address for others to pester you, you'll know who made that junk mail end up appearing.

A handy place called Sneakemail models a similar concept in the digital realm. You get to generate a disposable email address, which will quietly deliver to your real address. When you give that Sneakemail address to a Web form or some other online business, you avoid the risk of your real address being abused or bought and sold. Instead, this pseudo-address is the information that works as an extra guard, protecting you against unwanted solicitations.

Messages will still reach you, but in a way that you maintain; toss the address away once trash starts to appear, and start afresh with a new Sneakemail address.

1 comment: