Mail Expire
May 18, 2001 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Mail Expire is a temporary mail forwarding service.
It's free and takes about 30 seconds to set up a bogus email address that will expire after a period of time (the default interval is 12 hours). It's great for signing up to those FREE!! trial Internet services without automatically becoming an "asset" of some database marketing (read: spam) crowd. Because it's your inbox.
Oh yeah, please use this power for good. Don't use it to sign up to Metafilter or anything, I'm sure Matt will ban it anyway.
posted by lagado (8 comments total)
Spam Gourmet does a similar thing, but lets you specify the number of times that e-mail address can receive mail. After the specified number is up, any further e-mail to that address will not be forwarded to you but munched by their server.

Spam Motel takes it a bit further and actually lets you track who has been selling your e-mail address. These services are incredibly useful - especially for those websites that force you to "register" in order to get to their content.
posted by dutchbint at 7:21 AM on May 18, 2001

why bother setting up a temporary fake account? i have one hotmail account that i use simply for signing up for free stuff, message boards and anything else where i don't want to give out my personal e-mail address. i check the "junk account" about once a week or once every 2 weeks even waiting as long as a month if i forget about it. if i get mail to that account i expect that it will most likely be spam so it's a low priority to check it. i'm surprised more people don't do this, or maybe they do, and i think these sites like spam motel and mail expire are a waste of time.
posted by suprfli at 8:06 AM on May 18, 2001

Having automatic autoforwarding on my domain mail (where anything @ is forwarded to root) allows me to simply sign up for anything using an alias that is specific to that site. Even known quantities, like real networks and netflix get their own separate addresses. (See my profile for my MeFi address.) If I start getting spam addressed to say, freeCDsampler @, then I know that it's time to tweak that address on the server side to forward to null. No more spam.
posted by Dreama at 8:13 AM on May 18, 2001

That's actually pretty cool, dreama... but these services are for people who _don't_ have their own domain (much less convenient root access). There was another thread where other tech savvy people made some great suggestions, as well.

As for me, I use a similar service... and really appreciate that _all_ of my e-mail addresses are protected, not just my hotmail account... not to mention the e-mail addresses of people I send things _to_.
posted by silusGROK at 8:38 AM on May 18, 2001

I actually don't get that much spam from sign-ups. About 90% of the spam I get is one old address (well, two addresses, one inbox, thanks to my ISP activating both .com and .net), which has not been used for *anything* in over two years. It's all from web-grabs, old Usenet faqs, and lists sold around so many times they're beginning to get xerox fade.

But I should really start using one of these services -- I just know that's going to happen to my current address in about five years, dammit.
posted by dhartung at 10:57 AM on May 18, 2001

dhartung... I don't know about everyone else, but I use this stuff not just to block spam, but to save myself from abuse. I would never have put my e-mail address in a chat room, but now I can. If the e-mail coming in gets abusive (or just plain weird), I can kill the address. So, maybe it's just different for each person. I would bet that your surfing habits are such that you don't run into the culling activities of spam services.
posted by silusGROK at 11:19 AM on May 18, 2001

re: default email forwarding..

NameZero allows default forwarding, and it is free (at least until they go under). Just sign up a domain name there, and it is good for at least a year.
posted by antispork at 11:27 AM on May 18, 2001

Here's another thread with resources and ideas for dealing with spam...
posted by fooljay at 1:21 PM on May 18, 2001

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