Web Email Sites Like Yahoo or Hotmail Are NOT Anonymous

February 23rd, 2009 | Posted in Anonymity, Internet, Opinion, Privacy, Security, Tracking | 1 Comment

I recently saw a message thread where somebody asked how they could set up an anonymous email address that they could use when signing up for sites that they didn’t want to give up any real personal or contact information.

The answer they were given was to sign up for a web email account at a place like Yahoo or Hotmail and that if things ever got dicey they could just stop checking that mailbox.

This kind of tactic will get you only very casual anonymity at best for several reasons.

1) Unless you always connect using TOR, they will have your IP address which, along with the time makes finding you trivial.

2) Most services like this require a primary email address in order to sign up for theirs.  It’s both for being able to recover lost passwords and in the event of any legal action involving email you’ve sent with their service they can and will cooperate with courts, lawyers and law enforcement and hand over anything they have on you.

3) The headers in emails sent from these services will include your IP address at the time the message was sent unless you only connect via TOR AND have Javascript disabled. IF you can get signed up without giving an email address that leads back to you, something that’s very hard to find these days.

This low level of anonymity is useful as a “throwaway” email address that you can use when signing up for sites that you suspect might spam you or sell your email address.  When the spam gets too bad, simply delete the account.

It is however, NOT sufficiently anonymous if you’re involved in anything (good or evil) that’s liable to attract attention from somebody’s lawyer(s) or some flavor of Law enforcement.

[tags]anonymous email, send anonymous emai, hotmail, yahoo, yahoo mail, web mail, not anoymous, weak anonymity[/tags]

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Link to this post:
Just copy this code and paste it on your site where you want the link to appear:

One Response to “Web Email Sites Like Yahoo or Hotmail Are NOT Anonymous”

  1. That is what I need, thank you very much!