Spam is the curse of the internet. Every time we provide an email address to a website,
we are trusting that the site won't send us unwanted mail, will honor our our request
to be removed from their email list, and will not unscrupulously provide our email
address to others. Changing one's email address is a very inconvenient way to stop
spam. Spamex is one of a number of services that addresses this problem by providing
disposable email addresses. A disposable email address is one that is instantly created,
forwards mail to your real email address, and may be dispose of at any time.
This review was conducted using Apple's Safari web browser.
$9.95/$19.95/$29.95 per year.
1 month free trial available.
How it Works
Spamex provides the ability to create and manage disposable email addresses. Spamex
provides a link that can be set as a bookmark or conveniently place on the bookmark
bar. In Safari this can be done by simply tracking the link from the Spamex getting
started page to the bookmarks bar. Emails received through Spamex provide links to
to Spamex management and tracking capabilities.
Creating a disposable
Clicking on this link
brings up a login screen (if you are not already logged in) and then to the following
Spamex Administrative Page
The "Create Address"
button brings up the following screen:
Spamex Email Address Creation
Here you may select
the email address that the email forward to, chose either the domain "spamex.com"
or "xemaps.com" and either have spamex generate an email address or you
my select custom to propose an address to use. Random address are truly random, one
example one that I have is email@example.com. When a disposable address is created,
you may optionally add information such as the site URL and site username and password
for later reference and set various administrative options. You may also add a nickname
that appears in email so that the address appears in the standard form Steve Lazarus
<SteveLaz@spamex.com>. The Profile link takes you to account management functions,
including the creation of addresses to forward to. When a new forward to address
is created, a validation email is sent to that address that includes a link to validate
An address created "For Someone Else" is automatically deleted after one
use. A great use of this feature, as hinted on the entry screen, is when you wish
to send a creating card or use an "Email to a friend" option on a web site
and wish to assure that the email address is not harvested for future use.
Using a disposable
Mail sent to the disposable
email address is forwarded to your real email address. The message is prefaced with
a link back to Spamex to get information on or administer the disposable address
being used and a note that any reply you make from your real address will be routed
through Spamex. This provides normal use of your email client while keeping your
real email address totally hidden.
Sample Email Sent Through Spamex
At any time you may
go to the Spamex site and disable the address or delete it entirely. You may also
review a history of email sent to the address and a "contact list" of who
has used the address. These features allow recognition of email abuse. If you use
an address for a single site and start getting emails from other places, you know
that the site is passing on your address. I have used a disposable address when as
the hyperlink for my name at the top of this article. Readers of this article can
freely communicate to me while I have the ability to disable or restrict this address
if it is abused.
Such abuse is shown
in the following snippet from the contacts of an address I disabled when spam started
coming through clearly shows spammer behavior.
The $9.95 yearly price
option provides 500 active disposable email addresses and a maximum message size
of 500K. The $19.95 option provides 1000 addresses and 2M maximum size. The $29.95
option increases these to 2000 addresses and 5M. The Spamex page has a link to spamcom.org.
There you can sign up to get 3 disposable addresses and a maximum message size of
25K for free.
- You may specify,
per address, whether email replies go through the Spamex service, hiding your real
email address, or go directly to the sender, exposing your real address.
- Addresses may be
set to expire after a given amount of time or a given number of uses.
- Rather than just
disabling a disposable address, it may be configured as open to all except addresses
placed on a black list or closed to all except for addresses placed on a white list.
- Comments may be manually
inserted into the online log. This provides the ability to make notes of usage available.
For example, I sometimes note when an address was first used for a specific web site.
- Mail may be sent
from a disposable address from the Spamex site. The sample email above is an example.
This was received in my real mailbox but my real email address remains hidden from
readers of this review.
Most of us are deluged by spam. A disposable email address can be created for temporary
or prolonged use with the comfort that it may be disabled or destroyed if it is misused.
Spamex provides an excellent service for creating and managing disposable email addresses.
This service is highly recommended for anyone wishing greater ability to protect
their email address. The control and flexibility is greater than use of temporary
address on Yahoo or Google Mail. The extra steps required to make use of a disposable
address are well worth the protection that is provided.
- Disposable addresses
provide control over use of your email address.
- Incoming and outgoing
mail is proxied through the Spamex service.
- Logging features
provide visibility into how the email address is being used.
- The Spamex provided
button does not automatically fill in the originating web site when creating a new
disposable email address.
- The URLs displayed
on the address list pages are not clickable links.
- Discipline is required
to take the extra steps required to use the service.
4 out of 5 Mice