Email is one of the cornerstones of online communication. Small wonder there as email is probably the easiest and cheapest long-distance communication medium. All you need is a computer, an email account (it’s free) and the email address of another person and you can start sending them emails.
On top of that, email usually does a lot to build trust by providing an identifiable 2-way communication. This is of particular importance in email marketing as customers are very unlikely to accept an email from an unknown source.
However, there are times when you will want to remain anonymous. There are a number of situations in which it is prudent to send untraceable email.
Why Send Mail Anonymously?
There are a number of situations in which it is prudent to send untraceable email.
- To avoid spam
One of the biggest problems with email is the amount of spam it comes with it. More than half of email traffic is spam. According to Statista, spam accounted for 54.68% of all email traffic in September 2019.
Yes, spam filters help, but not always. If you don’t want your spam folder overflowing with junk, you should learn how to send temporary email.
- To avoid being traced by tech giants
Imagine having someone to constantly look over your shoulder as you send an email to another party. Unfortunately, this is exactly what big tech companies like Google are doing.
“Improving the service”.
Selling your data and sharing it with 3rd parties, who then use it to serve you targeted ads.
- If you’re a whistleblower
If you’ve uncovered corruption, fraud or other law violations in your company don’t think you can easily go public with it against your boss. If anything, that will only get you into a heap of trouble, as your boss can use his position to fire you at the very least.
That’s why in these kinds of situations, it’s good to know how to send an anonymous email and protect your persona.
- You’re a journalist
The same way a whistleblower can uncover corruption within the company or institution they’re working for (think Edward Snowden), a journalist who keeps digging can do the same.
The difference is that while a whistleblower can remain hidden pretty much until they decide to go public with their find, a journalist doesn’t have this kind of protection.
They are often monitored by those that don’t want their secrets revealed. This is why the ability to send mail anonymously is so important for journalists.
How to Set Up Anonymous Email?
As you can see, there are several situations when it is a better idea to send mail anonymously.
Now that we have covered the “why”, let’s go over the “how”. Or how to send email anonymously.
There are several ways to send an anonymous email that won’t be traced back to you.
- Use an anonymous email service
Gmail is a great email service for everyday use, as sending email over it can be very easy and intuitive. However, as we said earlier, it allows big tech companies like Google to peek into your correspondence and share that data with advertisers.
Fortunately, there are a lot of anon email services out there that don’t do that.
Not all of them work the same, however. There are a few ways how an anonymous email service will keep your privacy.
Some allow you to send temporary email and even scramble your “mailto” address and prevent bots from collecting them.
Other services require no registration to use, keeping your personal information unrevealed. Plus, they don’t show your IP address in the email, making sure you won’t be traced easily.
Then, there are services which use end-to-end encryption like SSL and PGP and cryptography to keep your emails anonymous.
- Gmail + VPN
Yes, you can send untraceable email using a popular email service like Gmail. All you need is a way to mask your identity and real location.
The first part is fairly easy as you can simply use fake information. So, instead of your real name, use a made up one and do the same for your other info as well.
The problem is that even if they can’t trace you through your personal information, email services will be able to trace your location. This is why you’ll want to hide your IP address from them as well.
The most secure way to do that is by using a VPN or Virtual Private Network. A VPN establishes a secure connection over the Internet for your device. As a result, since you’re sending traffic this way, someone checking in on your connection will see the VPN’s IP instead of yours and your location will stay hidden.
- Email Client + VPN
A step up from using Gmail, Yahoo or other well-known email services in conjunction with VPN is to use an email client.
In essence, this adds another step, as now in addition to signing up for a Gmail, Yahoo or similar email service and installing a VPN, you also need to install an email client on your computer.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great free email clients out there, such as Mozilla Thunderbird.
What you’ll need to consider however, is how many accounts it supports (many support only one) does it support multiple platforms and if it supports all email services (some don’t support Gmail).
Once you install the email client the next step is to install and connect a VPN, which will then mask your real IP from prying eyes and allow you to send untraceable emails.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind Before Sending Someone an Anonymous Email
Whichever of these methods you choose to send anonymous mail with should in most situations be enough to keep your personal information and identity hidden. However, some information might still be traced back to you.
Here are a few things to remember whenever you want to send untraceable email:
- Keep your anonymous and real identity separate.
Don’t store your anonymous email login and password in the same place you keep your personal email account info.
- Use a secure and unique password.
Don’t use the same password on your anonymous account and your other accounts. Instead, make sure you are using a unique password that doesn’t include any personally identifiable information. So don’t put your kid’s names there.
- Don’t log in to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other services with your anonymous email.
Keep your anonymous email for anonymous stuff and your regular email for everyday use like social media.
- Use a public network and not your home or work network
Even if you’re using a VPN, there’s still a chance to trace an anonymous email back to your IP address. That’s why, as an extra precaution, make sure to log in from a public network instead of your home WiFi.
- Make sure the VPN is working.
If not set up properly, the VPN might leak your IP, DNS or WebRTC. All of which can lead back to you. To make sure this isn’t the case, make sure your VPN is showing a different IP from your original one.
And that’s it. With this information, you should know now how to send anonymous email and keep your communication private and secure.