A disposable email address is an email address that lasts for a certain period of time, from a few minutes to a few weeks. There are three different types of disposable email address:
- Alias - these are usually a variation of a genuine email address, hosted by an inbox provider such as Hotmail or Gmail
- Forwarding account - these email addresses are hosted by a different inbox provider to the user’s primary email account and forwards messages to that account
- Non-forwarding account - these typically only send one email message and will bounce after the first send, meaning they have no value in a business database
Although not everyone who uses disposable email addresses does so for illegal reasons, they can enable criminal activity such as identity fraud, credit card chargebacks and abusive behaviour.
In this blog post, find out why people use disposable email addresses, and why you should protect your business from them.
Why do people use disposable email addresses?
The function of a disposable email address is to conceal an internet user’s identity or keep them anonymous online. Some people use them to control their communication without risking their data being shared without their consent. Others may use them to avoid being added to email lists or for testing purposes within a work environment.
However, disposable email addresses are often used by hackers to create fake accounts and initiate fraudulent activities. The temporary nature of disposable email accounts enable fraud by allowing hackers to create a random email address and dispose of it quickly.
How could a disposable email address harm my business?
There are several ways in which disposable email addresses could cause harm to your business.
Even disposable email addresses used for non-malicious reasons can harm your email marketing campaigns. Most of the time, emails sent to a disposable address remain unopened, which can lead to low engagement metrics and hard bounces from emails sent to these addresses.
On a larger scale, disposable email addresses also enable users to take advantage of any offers or free services you provide. For example, if you offer an incentive in return for signing up to your email list, such as a free trial, some users may be inclined to use a disposable email address to sign up again once their trial has ended.
Users can also use disposable addresses to misuse your website. They can use temporary email addresses to abuse other users on your platform, leave spam comments or write false bad reviews about your business or brand. These actions are not only harmful to any individuals receiving abuse, but they can also cause a lot of harm to your business and reputation.
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