It is important to hide your email address from various third-party apps and web services.
You create free accounts with a seemingly cool web service or subscribe to newsletters. This is general practice and what most people do.
But imagine if there is a database breach on the web or the newsletter service. Your email address is exposed to all kinds of scammers and spammers. Such email databases are sold all the time on the dark web.
In some cases, fake websites also collect email addresses only to send spam emails.
You’re no stranger to spam, are you?
Now, some people have dedicated email addresses for these kinds of random, unprofessional, unimportant emails. But there are better ways to prevent spam.
You can use specialized tools that give you fictitious email addresses to share with third parties. Emails arriving at these fictitious addresses are forwarded to your real email address. Your real email address is not exposed here (except for the tool you use).
Do you want to stop receiving emails from certain sources? You can block it before it even reaches your inbox.
Here I focus on listing some of the coolest open source tools that provide email aliases to help you hide your real email address.
If you are looking for more privacy tools (browsers, VPN, email, etc..): Check out our list of simple privacy tools to improve your digital experience.
1. SimpleLogin by Proton
If you’ve been following us for a while, you might have heard of SimpleLogin in its first days of launch.
Since then a lot has changed and it is now part of Proton. In case you were curious, ProtonMail was renamed Proton earlier this year.
The only thing that stands out here: If you already have a paid ProtonMail account, you can use SimpleLogin premium for free.
It’s a open-source anonymous email solution that lets you generate email aliases for free.
The free plan is limited to 10 aliases (unlimited bandwidth) and one mailbox. So if you want unlimited aliases and the ability to add more email addresses for protection, you can opt for its premium plans which cost $30 per year.
You have access to the service through the web, a browser extension and mobile apps (Android and iOS).
Plus, you can host it yourself for full control over email aliases and the ability to customize your experience with it.
2. Firefox Relay
Firefox Relay is a completely free service, with paid options available for certain user regions. It’s best to use Firefox as your web browser if you choose to use Firefox Relay for seamless integration.
Either way, you can also use Firefox Relay on Chromium-based browsers like Brave and Vivaldi. Explore the differences between them in our Brave vs Vivaldi comparison article.
You will be limited to five free email aliases. If you want a few email aliases, have them redirect to your inbox, that should be a good option.
Note that you won’t have access to any mobile apps here. So, you can only access it using the mobile web browser or the desktop browser extension.
AnonAddy is a similar offering to SimpleLogin in terms of available features.
Pricing plans can help you choose one or the other, as AnonAddy provides unlimited standard aliases with a monthly bandwidth limit.
You can also self-host AnonAddy for added privacy.
Not to mention, you get browser extension support for Chrome and Firefox. It also offers mobile clients for on-the-go use (Android and iOS).
4.Booya Web Extension
Booya is an interesting service that encourages you to buy a domain of your choice and then set it up using its browser extension for email aliases.
It is a free and open-source project.
Although this sounds exciting, it may not be a practical option for many users. Not everyone prefers to buy a domain from a registrar they don’t know. If you don’t have a problem with that, you can continue.
5. DuckDuckGo Email Protection
If you are using the DuckDuckGo mobile browser, you can take advantage of its beta email protection service, where you get an email alias (email@example.com) that you can use to hide your real email address.
At the time of writing this article, you must join a waiting list to gain access. You should receive the invite in a few months if it’s still in beta. But I think it won’t be long before it’s available to everyone.
Unfortunately, from now on you cannot delete the duck address (or generate a new one) by yourself. You will need to contact DuckDuckGo support for assistance.
What tool do you need to protect your email?
I am convinced that an email address will remain a vital point of contact for everything, even after decades.
However, with various services and platforms to sign up for, it can be risky to share your real email address while keeping privacy in mind.
These privacy tools should help you protect your email address without having to put in a lot of effort.
By the way, now would be a good time to check if your email address has been exposed.