As smartphones and social media gained prominence in the world over the last few years, many thought that WhatsApp messaging would render emails (the killer app that brought the Internet into the mainstream three decades ago, give or take) a thing of the past. Well, email is still around, and it’s more vital than ever. The new means of communication didn’t kill emails; they just gave it a specific niche for which it’s irreplaceable.
If you need an account in the currently ubiquitous cloud services, confirm your identity at Amazon or send a love letter; WhatsApp, Telegram, or Facebook won’t do. Email is still indispensable, and emails are still where our most sensitive information is stored.
But there’s one thing about emails. They’re a two-way identifiable communication system. It’s in the core design, and it was supposed to be like that from the beginning.
So how much information are you giving up about yourself when you send an email? Your email address is a prominent piece of data, of course. But that’s not the only thing you should keep in mind. Emails include a lot of information that can identify you in several ways.
For example, suppose that you read the entire email header (which most clients won’t show you by default; you have to tinker a little to see it). The header is very technical, as it includes things as the sender’s IP address or the routing information for the message in question. In other words: using emails anonymously is not the default option, ever. It’s pretty hard, as a matter of fact.
But not to worry. Sending anonymous mail is possible, and in this article, we will show you how.
How to send an anonymous email – The quick guide
Rendering an anonymous email means suppressing two critical pieces of data: your email address and your IP address. This needs a secure email service. No, you can’t use Gmail, Hotmail, nor Yahoo. These services are excellent because of their simplicity, availability, storage capacity, and many other features. But privacy is not their priority, so we’ll need a different provider for this task.
Here’s the simplest way to go:
- First, you need to choose a secure email provider. ProtonMail is the best option available today based on our extensive tests and research
- Register for ProtonMail (or the service of your choice) and get your mailbox
- Log into your private email account
- There you go! Now you have a new, safer email account
5 ways for sending an anonymous email without being tracked
So, you will want to have a private conversation using email. Fine, we can do that! There are several things you can do to meet this goal. However, there’s one thing you should keep in mind. There’s no silver bullet when it comes to this task. The best results will come by using two or more methods concurrently. Adopting one or more of the following methods will help you secure your email communications.
1. Use an encrypted and anonymous email provider
Encrypted email providers will give you a service that looks just like regular mail on the surface. But your outgoing messages will be encrypted end-to-end so that they will be much safer. The encryption extends to your emails, inbox, and contact list.
Encryption makes your emails look like random noise, white noise when it’s done at the best level. That prevents any external observer who could intercept them from making sense of them. So neither your ISP nor the government, and in some cases, even your email provider will be able to read your messages.
There are several anonymous email accounts on the web. Each offers a slightly different service with an emphasis on some features. These are the best ones available today:
- ProtonMail. It emphasizes security over anonymity, and it’s the best in this regard
- Tutanota. This one is all about anonymity
- StartMail. The easiest one to use
- Guerilla Mail. Provides temporary mails so that you can avoid spam
2. Use a burner email account
If you’ve seen TV shows like “The Wire” or “Breaking bad.” The “heroes” on these shows buy the cheapest phones, have them in prepaid plans, use them and then get rid of them. That way, they get all the advantages of mobile communications without leaving a trail that leads back to them. Burner emails are precisely like that.