What is a Disposable Email Address?

What is a Disposable Email Address?

Disposable Email Addresses are just what they say they are; email addresses that people use for a short time and then don’t use again. It’s possible to get a new email address and receive email within seconds, with no sign-ups, no contact details required and certainly no verification that the person using the email address is “real.” Many sites will activate and assign you a disposable email address from the second you access the site. Spooky huh?

A disposable email address (DEA) is a pain to marketers and often an indication of fraudulent activity online. Alternatively, a DEA is just a way for a consumer to fight back against spam and bad opt-in protocols, or a good tool for developers to test software. You decide.

Don’t confuse DEAs with the free email accounts on offer from Email Service Providers such as Yahoo, Hotmail and GMX. The sites that offer DEAs are different. They are providing a service for people who want a throwaway email address that is used for a short period of time, or as a bucket address for marketing emails, so that a more important inbox stays “clean.”

Find out about how disposable email addresses can harm your business.


Who provides email burners?

Some of the more well known providers of these time limited email addresses are Mailinator, slippery.email and guerillamail. There are others too. Search terms such as “throwaway email, one-off email, single-use email, burner email address,” all bring up results of a number of sites to get these DEAs from. If you take a look at these sites you’ll see how the email addresses can be offered with limited time; ten minutes, an hour.... That’s why DEAs are also known as “burners” they are email addresses that burn out quickly.

These email addresses aren’t illegal. However, here at Email Hippo when we validate email addresses we will highlight them as being bad, as in our experience (and we see over 10,000,000 email addresses a day) these addresses are more likely to be fraudulent or undeliverable than others.

If you are a marketer and you are seeing disposable email addresses on your mailing lists you ought to take action to remove them. We explain more about the reasons for that here.

Overall, disposable email addresses are easily available but if you are thinking of using one to remain incognito online, spare a thought or the fact that you might make yourself appear less trustworthy than if you were to use an ordinary email address.

Looking for a way to detect temporary and disposable email addresses in your lists?

Our email validation product, CORE, pours cold water on 'burner' email addresses that are often behind fake sign-ups and fraud. Find out more by signing up for a free trial today!

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Written by: Rowland

Friday, 23 September 2022