How to Create an Anonymous Email and Keep Your Identity Safe Online
Email is one of the easiest ways to communicate on the internet. It’s quick and simple for anyone to set up an email address and send messages. But if you want to create an anonymous email, this is not such an easy task.
There are several reasons why you might want to create an anonymous email. Privacy is the most common reason people use anonymous email accounts. You might want to sign up for a newsletter or use an email to register for a membership site without revealing your identity.
Keeping a separate email address for this purpose can also be helpful to reduce spam to your main email account.
Another reason why you might want an anonymous email account is for safety reasons. If you want to leave a negative review of a business or send a whistleblower email without fear of retaliation, it’s best to use an email that can’t be traced back to you.
In this guide, we’ll take you through two methods of setting up an anonymous email account so you can choose the solution that works best for your needs.
- Method 1: Use False Details with a Standard Webmail Provider
- Method 2: Use an Anonymous Email Service
Method 1: Use False Details with a Standard Webmail Provider
This is the method that most people use when they want to create an anonymous email but it’s not the easiest or most secure way.
You can use this method with any web-based email provider such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail.
1. Sign up for a new account with fake details
All these services require personal information like name, location, and date of birth to set up a new account.
Make up some false details to use for registration that aren’t related to your true identity (don’t use your middle name for example). Don’t use any details in your password or security questions that someone could link to you either.
2. Create a new anonymous phone number
Some services, like Gmail, also ask for a phone number to verify the account. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as making up a fake number as you won’t be able to open the account without a real phone number.
Depending on how easy it is to get a prepaid mobile sim card in your country and how much effort you’re willing to go to, you could buy a new phone number/sim card to register the account. However, you may also need to supply personal details to get this new phone number.
The other option is to use an online service that provides virtual phone numbers for registering new accounts. Keep in mind that the trustworthiness of such sites may be questionable and there’s a good chance that Google could block the numbers you pay for through these services.
3. Use private browsing to access your email account
Make sure to use a VPN and use your browser in incognito mode when you’re signing up for a new account (or preferably, a fully private browser) and when you log in to send or check your email.
If you don’t do this, someone with resources to trace your IP could easily uncover your true identity
Method 2: Use an Anonymous Email Service
The best way to ensure your identity remains secret when sending an email is to use an anonymous email service.
These email services allow you to create an anonymous email address that is totally separate from your personal or business identity.
Additionally, all emails you send and receive from the account are encrypted, which means nobody can read them except for the sender and receiver. This also prevents any third party from intercepting your messages.
ProtonMail is a free encrypted email service that scientists from CERN and MIT started to send messages securely.
The service is based in Switzerland, which has strong privacy laws. This means that your data is protected even if law enforcement or a government agency requests it. US-based companies can sometimes be forced or intimidated into turning over user data, so Swiss-based companies are a popular choice when privacy is a priority.
You don’t need to supply any personal information when you create an anonymous email account with ProtonMail. They don’t keep any IP logs that can be linked back to your identity either.
ProtonMail is available via a web interface or a mobile app. The web interface is more accessible for beginners, but the ProtonMail iOS and Android apps have more features. The app is also suitable if you don’t want to lose access to your email when you’re in a remote location or don’t have internet access.
ProtonMail offers paid plans as well as free accounts. The paid accounts give you unlimited mail storage space, allowing you to keep all your emails. Free accounts have a limit of 500 MB, which will be enough for the majority of ProtonMail users. You can also add multiple addresses and use a custom domain with a paid account.
Price: Free for 500MB space. Paid accounts start from € 6.25/Month
2. Guerilla Mail
Guerilla Mail is a free service that will give you a temporary email address that you can use to send one-off emails or access websites or services that require an email address to sign up.
This tool doesn’t have some of the robust privacy features of other services listed here, but if you are in a hurry or just need a disposable email address without registering, it’s a quick solution.
You can choose from a selection of email domains and enter whatever you like for your email ID.
You can access emails, attachments, and reply to emails sent to your Guerilla mail email address, but the system will delete them automatically after an hour. Email addresses never expire but anyone who knows your inbox ID can access the emails so you shouldn’t treat it as a secure inbox.
Tutanota is an open-source encrypted email service that has apps for iOS, Android, and desktop as well as a web interface.
You don’t need to supply any personal information or a telephone number when you create an anonymous email. However be warned if you sign up using a VPN for extra privacy, the system will automatically flag your account, and you won’t be able to access it for 48 hours. This is to stop spammers from signing up for email accounts with the service.
Tutanota does not log IP addresses or track its users. Additionally, if you sign up for a paid account, you have the option of paying with Monero. This is an anonymous payment service, which enables you to use the premium features of Tutanota while keeping your identity private.
Tutanota automatically encrypts the subject, content, and all attachments to ensure no one can intercept them. The software also prevents images in emails from loading automatically as this may inform the sender that you’ve read their email.
You can get started with Tutanota using a free account, which includes 1GB of storage space. Paid plans allow you to add additional users, custom domains and include advanced search and additional features.
Price: Free for personal users with 1GB storage. Paid plans start from € 1/Month
Mailfence is a “secure e-mail & collaboration service” that allows you to send or receive emails anonymously. With Mailfence, you can have complete control over where your emails go, who can access them, and what information they contain.
The service that Mailfence provides is under the protection of Belgian privacy laws. This means they do not have to comply with data requests from the US or other foreign authorities. The company was founded in 2006 and has earned a reputation as one of the most private and secure mail services on the web.
Mailfence does not use any third-party trackers or ads. It also encrypts emails between the sender and the recipient so there’s no chance of a third party reading your messages.
In addition to email, Mailfence provides a suite of tools including secure chat, a calendar for scheduling online meetings, and encrypted file storage.
Free Mailfence accounts include 500MB of storage, and you can upgrade to a premium account for more storage, a custom email domain, and additional features.
Price: Free for 500MB storage. Paid accounts start from €2,50/month
Hushmail is a private email service that’s intended primarily for people working in healthcare, legal, and other fields that require complete confidentiality for their clients. It’s not free, but it offers a way to get an anonymous email address with advanced security features.
You don’t have to fill out any personal information when you sign up to Hushmail. However, as there are no free accounts available, you’ll have to take extra steps to ensure you don’t include your identity details with your payment information. You could register a new PayPal account for this or use a virtual credit card service.
As well as encrypted emails, most Hushmail plans include a secure private message center and secure web forms. You can also create unlimited email aliases.
Note that Hushmail asks you to tick a box confirming you won’t use your account for any illegal activity when you sign up. They may also hand over IPs and other user information if requested by law enforcement so keep this in mind.
Price: From $49.98/year
6. Abine Blur
Abine Blur is a whole suite of privacy tools that you can use to disguise your identity including everything from blocking browsing trackers to masking your personal details when you pay for something by credit card.
Blur has a free plan that includes an anonymous email service. The service is particularly suitable for signing up for services and avoiding spam. You can set up as many masked email addresses as you like and use different emails for different services.
Blur forwards messages to your normal email address and you can reply from the masked address as normal. You can easily turn off forwarding or delete the email address when you don’t want to receive messages from it anymore.
There are extensions available for Chrome and Firefox that will automatically detect sign-up forms and generate a masked email for you in one click. All your private data is stored locally.
Note that you do have to provide your email address to Abine when you sign up. However, the company states they will never share your data with any third party unless they’re forced to via court order.
Price: Free. You can also upgrade to a premium account for $39/year, which includes masked credit cards, masked phone numbers, and other extra features.
How do I make an anonymous Gmail account?
To create an anonymous email account with Gmail you’ll need to provide false information when you sign up. You’ll also need a burner phone or virtual SMS service to verify the account.
Does Gmail reveal your IP address?
Emails that you send from Gmail can only be traced back to a Google IP address. However, Google does keep a record of your IP when you log in so, in theory, someone with access to the right resources could find your location. Use a VPN when you log into Gmail if you want to keep your IP address hidden.
Is sending anonymous emails illegal?
Some countries, such as China, have laws against sending anonymous emails. In most countries, it’s not explicitly illegal to send anonymous messages. However, if you are using email to discuss illegal activities, harass someone, or make defamatory statements, this could get you into legal trouble if you’re identified.
Can a deleted Gmail account be tracked?
Google retains data on its servers for a time even after accounts are deleted. So it may be possible to trace a Gmail account to an individual even after it is deleted.
Can emails be traced by the police?
Law enforcement and government agencies have the right to demand that email services provide them with IPs and other user data if a court order or subpoena has been issued. However, this depends on the laws governing the company where it is based. For example, services based in Switzerland and some other European countries cannot be forced to fulfill this request.
What is the best anonymous email service?
The best service depends on why you want to send an anonymous email. Any of the services listed above will let you send emails privately, so it’s down to choosing one that meets your needs.
Using an anonymous email is a safe way to send messages and make sure that your identity stays private. It can also be a useful way to keep spam emails out of your main email account and prevent unscrupulous companies from selling your details.
The level of privacy and security that these different services offer does vary quite a lot. If you just want to send a one-off anonymous email, Guerilla Mail will do the job, while Apine Blur works really well for sign-ups.
If it’s more important to protect your privacy to protect your reputation or safety, you should sign up for a service like ProtonMail and use a VPN and Tor for an extra layer of protection.