|Anonymous Email How Why Where|
|Written on 01/06/23 at 04:00:57 EST by GentleGiant|
|Email encryption will protect you from hackers, but it does nothing for your anonymity. Email account service providers like Google have your name, phone number, and other personal details. They can even look at everything inside your inbox and who you correspond with. So, how can you send an email without giving away your identity? How do you protect the data inside that email?<br><br>
You need a reliable anonymous email account provider that doesnít track you and doesnít keep any logs. But how do you know what to look for in an anonymous email provider? Thatís why Iím here!†<br><br>
Iím going to help you understand what anonymous email accounts are and show you which providers are the most reliable. Some of them still collect some data and are willing to share that data with various third parties, so you really need to know what youíre getting yourself into.<br><br>
Your data is valuable. Stop companies from collecting your personal data to sell to the highest bidder. Use CyberGhost VPN to encrypt your traffic and prevent third parties from breaching your privacy.†<br><br>
What Are Anonymous Email Accounts?<br><br>
Anonymous email accounts hide your identity. Thatís because they donít contain your personal information or your IP address, device name, or time stamp. On top of that, anonymous email services encrypt the content of your email.
That said, being anonymous on the internet isnít easy and nothing can guarantee complete anonymity. All you can do is make it incredibly difficult for malicious actors to trace an email back to you or unlock its content. For that, you need a secure, anonymous email account.†
What Makes an Email Account Anonymous?<br><br>
A reputable anonymous email service provider encrypts the content of your emails, the metadata, and the subject line. Some services will also hide your IP address. Your emails are vulnerable while traveling from server to server, but encryption makes them unreadable to anyone who isnít the intended receiver.<br><br>
Also consider the providersí privacy policies. Most services have at least a no-knowledge policy, which means you donít need to give up any private information to set up an account. Service providers wonít know anything about you so they wonít have anything to share with various third parties.†
A premium service will also have a No Logs policy. That guarantees the provider doesnít keep track of any of your activities, which means even greater privacy and anonymity.<br>
ďPartyslayer483Ē Isnít Enough to Stay Anonymous<br>
Using a weird email name isnít enough to hide your identity. Itís common for people to use their real names as their email addresses, so some like to think they become anonymous if they use something more creative instead.†<br><br>
Thatís not true. Your buddy might not recognize ďpartyslayer483Ē on Reddit, but your email account provider knows who you are.<br><br>
Email service providers like Google will still know some of your personal information because itís required to set up an account. Whatís even worse is your entire inbox goes on their record, including all file attachments. Services with no dedicated focus on privacy have full access to everything you send and receive so itís impossible to stay anonymous while using them.
Gmail Isnít Anonymous<br><br>
Googleís Gmail is a secure emailing service, but itís far from anonymous. Google can see everything youíve ever sent or received. It has full access to your email content and mines that data for targeted advertising and to improve its services. Even if you donít care that Google makes money off of your data, you should know that anyone can track those emails back to you.
Any hacker or tracker can trace your emails back to you based on your IP address or account information. Wait, canít you just set up a Gmail account with fake information? Yes, you can! But it wonít help you because Google knows you by your IP address and other metadata. All of this information can lead back to you. Thatís why you need an anonymous email account.
Reasons to Use Anonymous Email Accounts
Hackers and shady dark-web surfers arenít the only people who use anonymous email accounts. You too may need to send and receive anonymous emails if:<br><br>
You live in a country where the authorities monitor your online activity.<br>
Youíre a journalist or an activist covering sensitive topics.<br>
Youíre about to blow the whistle on your company for unethical practices.<br>
You no longer want tech companies and advertisers to profit from your private data.<br>
You decide your business is your own and nobody has the right to breach your privacy.<br>
No matter the reason, you should have full control over who gets access to your private email correspondence. Using an anonymous email account is just one piece of the puzzle, albeit an important one. Beyond that, you should also browse anonymously otherwise youíll leave enough cookie crumbs behind for third-parties to follow you around.†<br><br>
Browsers are not Anonymous at allÖ<br><br>
Using an anonymous email account wonít help much if you donít take any other measures against data tracking. Browsers, search engines, and services like Google Maps and YouTube track a great deal of your data. They know your name, location, interests, browsing activities, and even where youíve been in the last 24 hours.<br><br>
If you think thatís pretty scary, protect yourself with a VPN.†
The only way to browse the web anonymously is with a vetted VPN service. VPNs like CyberGhost hide your IP address to prevent websites and services from knowing your true location. They also route your traffic through encrypted channels to make your data unreadable in case someone gets their hands on it. Always connect to your VPN server before sending an email, or browsing online.
That said, you should probably avoid certain email services entirely (looking at you Google and Yahoo!). Even if you use a VPN, you still have to use real information like your phone number to create an account, which defeats the point. Here are some of the best anonymous email accounts (listed in no specific order) that donít require you to give up your identity.<br><br>
ProtonMail is one of the best anonymous email service providers and itís free! Your emails are end-to-end encrypted. The only party who can read your email is the receiver of your message. ProtonMail canít access your messages because theyíre stored in an encrypted state. The best part is, you donít need to provide your personal information to set up an email account.†
ProtonMail is a great place to start because it offers you 500MB of storage and a limit of 150 daily emails for free. The basic, free plan is not bad, but when you upgrade to the Plus plan you benefit from 5GB storage, 1000 daily emails, a custom domain name, email aliases, and more. If your email requirements exceed that, you can opt for the Visionary plan that includes more storage, aliases, multi-user support, and even beta access to new features.<br><br>
In many ways, Tutanota is right up there with ProtonMail ó you canít really go wrong with it. Tutanota encrypts your emails so nobody can read whatís in your inbox, including the developers. It also hides your IP address, so your location canít be discovered even if someone decrypts your mail somehow.<br><br>
Tutanota is available for free and you get 1GB of storage space, which is enough for most users. You can also upgrade to the paid Premium plan to get your own custom domain, 5 alias addresses, and email support. If you need additional storage, you can upgrade to the Teams plan which includes 10GB of space. Alternatively, Tutanota offers optional storage packages that go up to a whopping 1TB of storage capacity.<br><br>
Mailfence is another free anonymous email provider that also comes with some great premium features. The mailing system is encrypted, you can filter your emails however you want, and you can create aliases. Mailfence can stand by its promise to protect your privacy because its servers are in Belgium. European Union law is on your side and nobody can take your data by force.<br><br>
Mailfence lets you start with a free plan that includes 500MB of storage, email support, and end-to-end encryption. If you need more storage space, priority support, and custom email domain names, you can upgrade to one of the premium plans. You can get up to 50GB of storage space for your emails.
AnonAddy offers free encrypted email accounts that donít track you. Itís open-source and it doesnít rely on targeted ads. You can install the AnonAddy browser extension on your favorite privacy-focused browsers and generate unlimited aliases to sign up for newsletters and web accounts.
AnonAddyís free account is enough for your basic needs, but unfortunately, your bandwidth will be quite limited. If you need custom domains, extra usernames, and more or unlimited bandwidth, youíll likely want to go with the premium plans. Say goodbye to spammers and unsolicited ads!
Private-Mail offers encrypted email accounts starting from $8.95/month. It might not be free, but itís privacy and security-focused so itís worth checking out. It encrypts your files using the same 256-bit AES algorithm CyberGhost VPN uses and youíre the only one who has access. Even Private-Mail canít take a look at your data because the encryption is done client-side.
Private-Mail is great for file-sharing. You get 10GB worth of local storage and 10GB of cloud storage with the basic account and you can double that by upgrading to their Pro account for $15.95. Also, you can enable the self-destruct option for your emails for additional security.
Hushmail is a well-established encrypted email service provider thatís been catering to businesses for over two decades. While it offers several plans for various types of practices and companies, you can opt for the personal plan for an annual fee of $49.98. You get 10GB of storage, email aliases, 2-factor authentication support, and secure web forms.
The custom web form is what truly sets Hushmail apart from all the other email account providers on this list. If you have a website, you can set up a secure web form that visitors and customers can use to send you files and sensitive information.
Hushmail comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee ó more than enough time to figure out if itís worth the hefty price tag.<br><br>
CounterMailís website and applications may look extremely outdated, but donít let that sway you. This anonymous email account provider focuses heavily on security with OpenPGP encryption, SSL server authentication, and two-factor authentication.††
Additionally, CounterMail comes with an anonymous payment method to help you protect your identity. For $3.29/month for the two-year plan, youíll get 4GBs of storage space and up to 20 aliases.<br><br>
That said, CounterMail comes with a major downside (at the time of writing). Itís currently like a gated community and you need an invitation from a premium user to create your account. If you donít know anyone, you can also request an invite from CounterMail, but youíll have to wait in the queue. The service itself is worth the price as long as youíre patient enough to wait until you get in.<br><br>
Email Accounts You Need to Stay Away From<br><br>
Not all email accounts protect your data and personal information. It may surprise you, but most email providers do the opposite. They harvest your data and even sell it to third parties! Avoid the following service providers and start using an anonymous email account as soon as possible.
1. Yahoo! Mail<br><br>
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.†<br>
Yahoo was once huge with over 3 billion users until a massive security breach exposed a mind-boggling number of email addresses, phone numbers, names, and other user data. Whatís worse is Yahoo covered it up for four years until they came clean. If youíre still a Yahoo user, pack your bags and delete your Yahoo account yesterday! Yahoo never recovered and your data is still exposed.<br><br>
2. Microsoft Outlook
Outlook isnít as vulnerable as other services, but itís far from anonymous and privacy-focused. Microsoft is known for gathering user data through Windows, Office Suite, Teams, Outlook, and all the other apps and services it owns. Also, Outlook isnít encrypted client-side, so Microsoft is free to snoop around and check your emails. Even your file attachments are completely exposed.†
If you care about your privacy and data, move away from Outlook to an anonymous email account provider.
Gmail rose to power with Yahooís epic downfall.†<br>
Google focuses on protecting data and patches vulnerabilities extremely fast, but it doesnít protect your privacy. Much like Yahoo, Google gathers user data from everything it owns and uses it mostly for targeted ads. Gmail is one of its greatest sources of data and Google is free to go through your inbox and even check the files you share.<br>
Avoid Gmail when you sign up for a bank account or if you share important documents. Youíre not the only one hanging out in your inbox.
4. AOL Mail
Yes, AOL still exists ó though it no longer sends CDs in the mail. If you still have an active AOL account or youíre considering it, look the other way.†<br>
AOL is in the same boat as Yahoo, despite changing ownership multiple times. The company tracks all the emails you send and receive, including file attachments, and it uses your data however it wants. Also, serious data breaches in the past proved that itís far from secure too.
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