Although most online forums and Web site registrations require that new users verify their passwords via e-mail, many Internet users fear that by providing their regular e-mail, spam would soon find its way into their inboxes. To combat the dilemma, “disposable” e-mail addresses, such as “Ten-minute Mail” (www.10minutemail.com) and “Mint Email” (www.mintemail.com), which can be discarded right after Web users receive their Web page registration passwords, are rising in popularity.
According to Ten-minute Mail founder Devon Hillard, a JAVA Web page architect based in Seattle, Washington, prior to opening his server to the public for the “self-destructive” e-mail service, his average daily e-mail flow was 200 to 300. However, after the launch of the service, his server received 60,000 to 70,000 e-mails a day, presumably all of them spam.
“This proves that the average person simply can’t trust a random site or forum with their real e-mail address,” Hillard said on his Web site.
Disposable e-mail come in handy wherever an e-mail verification is required, said Web user DBN, a computer science student at National Tsing-Hua University.
A while ago, when the Monopoly board game maker, Parker Brothers, launched an online poll for Web users to vote for 68 preselected cities [and would accordingly designate the cities as the expensive blue or cheap purple properties] for their newest “The Monopoly: Here and Now World Edition,” Taiwanese Web users initiated a “let Taipei appear on the World Monopoly” online rally with each user registering for multiple Mint Email addresses to vote with, DBN said.
Since the two disposable e-mail services appeared, thirty-some similar Web sites have emerged, DBN said, adding that their service “lifespan” ranged from 10 minutes to a year.
However, because most of these Web sites are written in English, Ten-minute Mail, which is available in Chinese, is still the most popular, he said.
An analysis of disposable e-mail usage reveals that most of these e-mail addresses are used for e-letter subscriptions or membership notifications — a sign that many web users wish to avoid the hassle of not being able to unsubscribe to the services they sign up for.
However, though disposable e-mail addresses are convenient, some online forums are starting to protest against these “insincere” registrations, banning all users that register with them.
Additional reporting by Meggie Lu
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