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Your email address is at risk of being sold to spammers — here’s how to protect yourself

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YOUR email address may be at risk for more than you bargained for when you sign up or log into a new website.

When a new user gives a website their email address, they are not only agreeing to spammy newsletters but also to put their email up for sale to third-party buyers — often advertisers who will track your activity. 

Protect your email address from hackers

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Protect your email address from hackersCredit: Getty

Thankfully, there are privacy-loving people out there who have developed apps that can help you protect your email address from the companies desperate to get their hands on it.

Currently, there are two ways to help you keep your real email address more private, depending on the situation. 

EMAIL RELAY SERVICES

Email relay services work by generating a “virtual” email address that you can use when signing up for apps and websites, thus protecting your real one.

If you choose to, you can also get the emails from your virtual account forwarded to your real inbox. 

Many relay services also allow you to create multiple pseudo email addresses, making it even more difficult for hackers and third parties to obtain your email address. 

Depending on your preference, you might create a separate alias for newsletters, subscriptions, and online shopping. 

Some popular apps you can try out for this service include AnonAddy, SimpleLogin, and DuckDuckGo.

If you use Mozilla Firefox as your main browser, then Firefox Relay might be your best option as all you need to do is install the extension and link it with your Firefox account.

Similarly, if you are an Apple device user, the company has a feature across its products called “Hide My Email” that is included with its paid iCloud Plus plans.

The “Hide My Email” option will pop up whenever you populate the email field on a website’s signup page and automatically generate a private email for you. 

USE A BURNER EMAIL

You can also protect your email address by using a burner email.

This method is handy for when you only need confirmation emails and the like.

In those cases, instead of creating a new alias, you can use a service that provides you with a temporary email address.

If you opt for this method, some popular sites include GuerrillaMail, 10MinuteMail, and TempMail.

In some instances, a website may block you from inputting a temporary email address, but it is possible to get around this feature by using a different service (for example, if you are using an email provided by 10MinuteMail, you could try an email provided by TempMail). 

Temporary email addresses can help protect you from hackers

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Temporary email addresses can help protect you from hackersCredit: Getty
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