It is incredibly uncomfortable knowing that Internet and email service providers can look at everything you do and send online. Even if you are not into shady business, you don’t want any prying eyes spying on your content, because you are meant to have privacy when you start your computer and connect to the web.
If you don’t want to share your content with absolutely anybody, these email service providers don’t have the right to see or keep logs of your personal information. If you want to send emails anonymously, you should be entitled to do it.
Privacy and anonymity go hand in hand, at least in the online world, as they are both elemental rights that people are born with, and they should be respected. If you are anonymous, no one will disturb you in any way, and you will have privacy as a result.
The Internet does provide some ideas to guarantee privacy in those cases. Anonymous emails exist and learning how to get one is very straightforward. They can be found as independent programs or websites, encryption pages like Tor, and in VPNs such as TorGuard.
If you want to learn how to send an email in complete anonymity, stay for the duration of the article, and you are going to. You will find reliable options, both free and paid, to get what you want: to be left alone and not to be spied by anyone.
The need for privacy: an anonymous email
In the digital age, not only the Internet has flourished as the preferred communication tool, but also, information is widely available and is a precious resource. That is why online giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others gather all data they can from users, their most frequently visited sites and more details about the browsing history for marketing and advertising purposes.
In the case of Google, it also can see what you send in emails to others, the destination of those emails and the details, such as time and length. Every click you make means that other websites can track you, and email services are not an exception to the rule.
Some people may need even more privacy and anonymity than others. For example, journalists getting in touch with their sources and soldiers exchanging vital information will be benefited from the added protection. Some info is susceptible, and you would not believe just how many people can see the details of the emails you send.
Before setting up your anonymous email:
Tor is a favorite anonymous browser that lets people send and receive data, traffic, and information in a secure, encrypted way. It has a significant drawback, though: it will severely slow down your Internet connection because of its multiple servers protection systems. However, it may be one of the best tools for anonymous browsing, even letting users send emails in privacy.
Traffic and information shared with Tor will be extremely difficult to trace online, so people will not have a clue of what you are viewing. Besides, it is safe, legal, and free of charge for the user.
Use a VPN
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, use encryption protocols such as OpenVPN, IPSec or L2TP to reroute the users’ data and IP address to remote servers, where they will be protected from prying eyes.
They can be free or paid. The former can work in a pinch but remember: you usually get what you pay for. Paid alternatives have stronger encryption, better privacy measures and can connect to more servers in a higher number of countries.
Not every VPN service provider has an anonymous email in its services’ catalog. Here is a useful option for that feature:
TorGuard offers a privacy bundle, VPN protection, anonymous proxy and, most importantly, anonymous email. You can get it for free, but it has a 10MB storage cap. If you want unlimited space, the cost is around $49.95 per year. The service has a no ad feature and secure G/PGP encryption of mail.
How to get an anonymous email?
There are usually three methods to get an anonymous email, and each one has its own set of steps that the person needs to follow to secure anonymity while sending electronic mail.
Create an anonymous account
The most straightforward option involves creating an email account with one of the most widely known providers, such as Gmail. Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, GMX, etc., and entering fake data. You need to:
- Find an email service of your preference: If it is free, then better. Gmail is the most popular, while Lycos lets you create an alias within your account. Zoho is ad-free, and AOL permits the choice of domain names for email addresses.
- “Sign up” or “create your account,” depending on what your preferred email says in its layout.
- Type your screen name: The critical thing, for the discussion, is to avoid writing anything that can be connected to you down the road. That means no middle name, first or last name, occupation, family, hometown, hobbies, birthday, or address. Spinxo, a name generator, can help you.
- Use an alias, and not your name: This step needs to be followed in the sign-up process. Do not use your name, or you won’t be anonymous! Use a random name generator such as fake.name-generator.co.
- Finish the sign-up process: accept terms and conditions. Don’t write your real name, address, phone number, zip code or anything.
- Write and send your anonymous email.
Use a web service
If you still don’t trust that you will be secure enough while introducing fake data in a regular service, there are web-based networks that let you send emails in anonymity without actually having to create an account.
- AnonEmail: With this service, you can send email without having to sign up. It is free and very straightforward: just type your email and the recipient.
- AnonymousFeedback: Similar to AnonEmail, the user can send an anonymous email without having to register with the Anonymous Feedback service. It is also free.
- GuerrillaMail: This option lends you a temporary email address for your purposes. You don’t have to provide personal information or even sign in. The messages you receive will be erased from the system in an hour.
- TorMail: It is an email service within the Tor browser. It lets you send emails in anonymity.
- Hushmail: A good option, but one that is under the obligation to comply to authorities if that were the case. It doesn’t offer end to end encryption.
- Mailinator: If you need to use a disposable, anonymous email service, Mailinator is your choice. It is free and has a user-friendly interface. You don’t have to register, and if you are asked for an email address, you can put any name with “@mailinator.com” at the end. However, since there aren’t any passwords, you are at risk of someone else writing the same address and seeing your inbox. You can pay to solve that issue, though.
- Hide-Your-Email.com: A simple interface, no registration, but it is not for sending messages. You just need to write your preferred email name and add a “@pidmail.com.”
- Email On Dek: With this service, you get a temporary, random email address to receive messages. Don’t use Email on Dek for anything more than an hour or so session. It is free.
- Trashmail.com: It is a Chrome and Firefox browser extension. You can make up a new email from several domain options, and this service will forward it to your regular email for the period you configure. There is a “forwarding” limit for the free service: you can get unlimited status paying $13 per year.
- ProtonMail: You can get a service destined for genuinely encrypted communication with ProtonMail. It has a free version that can hold 500 MB of data or 150 daily messages. The monthly plan is unlimited and is just 4 euros per 30 days.
- OnionMail: Users get an encrypted connection with OnionMail, with the added benefit that just the recipient’s server can store messages. It is almost entirely hacker-proof because of its IP-deleting approach.
- Lelantos: While not free, Lelantos offers desirable and advanced features for six and twelve-month memberships and a permanent deal. The emails you create will get deleted within a timeframe you select, you can come up with more than 100 aliases, and you will have PGP encryption.
- TorBox: It is only accessible via the Tor browser, and lets you anonymously communicate with other people. The service is limited to sending messages to other TorBox users, though.
- SIGAINT: The service gives you two addresses after you register, one for Tor communication (.onion) and another one for use outside the Tor network (@sigaint.com.) It can be free, but the paid version is substantially better, with a nearly unlimited inbox space, priority support, data encryption, and Bitmessage integration.
- BitMessage: Speaking of BitMessage, it is free, but not particularly easy to use, as it requires specific knowledge of privacy technologies. In exchange, you get real encryption in your emails.
Use a remailer
The last option to get and use an anonymous email is via a remailer, which is a service that receives emails with guides and instructions about the future re-sending of them in a private environment.
The types of remailers are:
- Pseudonymous: It replaces the true email address with a fake one which is also untraceable. After that, it sends it on to the recipient.
- Cypherpunk: It sends encrypted messages that the remailer will decrypt upon getting them and then forward them to the receiver.
- Mixmaster: It encrypts messages and protects them from traffic analysis before sending them.
- Mixminion: It functions in a similar way to Mixmaster, but it allows replies.
To successfully send anonymous emails via remailers, you need to:
Sending messages to the remailer service of your preference is very straightforward, as you will only need to provide your email, subject and writing two colons (“::”) as the first step. Then, go to the second line and write “Anon-To:” followed by the recipient’s email address.
After that, you will leave one blank line and then write your email. Upon finishing, send it to the remailer and you are done.
In conclusion, to avoid being spied on while you type your emails, there are dozens of ways, services, browsers, VPNs and websites that you can use to write your electronic messages with privacy and anonymity.