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How to Conceal Your Real Email id on the Web

Every time you open your email, you find hundreds or mails in the ‘spam’ folder. You may not have given your email id to all the people who send useless or junk mail, but somehow, they manage to get it. But how can someone you never even met get your email id? The answer is simple. Most of the people who spam your inbox are either trying to sell you something you don’t need or hackers trying to access sensitive information they can misuse. They use tools for tracking online activities of web users and obtain their email addresses in the process.

To put it simply, whenever you share your email address on the web, you are not just giving it to that particular website, but to everybody with whom the site shares your information. The good news is that if you don’t want to, you can hide your real email id on the web. Here are a few ways to do that.

Use encoding techniques

One of the best and the cheapest ways to hide your email address from spammers is to use a few simple encoding techniques.

Don’t use the “@” or the dot – Spam spiders usually look for email ids in their typical format, which is ’emailid@mailservice.com’. To prevent spiders from identifying your email id, replace the ‘at’ symbol and the dot that represent an email address with words. For instance, when you write your email id like this – emailid (at) mailservice (dot) com – the mail or spam spiders will not pick it up as they don’t recognize it as a valid address.

Mask the id with tags – Another way to hide your email address is to mask it, by appending it with tags or comments. When you mask your id, you can trick an online tracking program from identifying it. An example of a masked email id is – emailid@mailservice.com.dontspam.

Use an image instead of text – Another way to fool the tracking software is to use an image instead of text. If you have to share your email id, put it in an image format. Spam bots don’t read images, and will not be able to pick up your id.

Remember that these encoding techniques can trick only a computer program, but not a human being. So even when you use these techniques, a normal person would be able to pick up your email address and use it for spamming.

Using anonymous email services

This is an effective, but not inexpensive, way to hide your email address. There are a number of anonymous email service providers who can help you create anonymous email ids and use them online. Some services even provide the latest methods for preventing any spam from reaching your mailbox. Using such a service can be great if you don’t want everyone to know about your email id, and if you don’t mind spending a little for it.

Hiding your email id on Facebook

One of the many places where spammers look for email ids is social networking sites, especially Facebook. To prevent the others on the site from seeing your id, you simply have to change the profile settings. Here are the steps you should follow for that.

  1. Go to the ‘edit profile’ section of your Facebook account
  2. Click on the ‘contact information’ tab on that page
  3. In the privacy settings drop down for your email ids, select the “only me” option. This will ensure that your id is visible only to you and nobody else on the site.

However, hackers can manage to breach that if the security measures of the networking site are weak. The best way to protect your real email id is to create an alias or use a separate email id for such sites, instead of using your real or active email id.

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