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I registered my current web domain (masonbitbyte.dev) with Google Domains and one of the offered features is an email alias / forwarding service. I can create over 100 email addresses on my domain (anything@masonbitbyte.dev) or a wildcard address.

What is the practicality of using this service for making an email address that I could give to websites that I only plan on using once or creating many emails for different websites, obfuscating the actual email in the event of a data leak?

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  • I use custom email addresses as a way to track and limit spam (when I get spam, I know exactly where the spammer got the address. I've had to alert several services of their user db breaches). The forwarding service (initial MX) is the best place to implement spam filtering as well, so you might want to consider that when making a choice, but sites like this aren't the best forums for product recommendations.
    – Adam Katz
    Mar 17 at 14:01
  • @AdamKatz Oh, I didn't know product recommendation requests aren't the greatest here. Thanks for letting me know. Thank you for the information as well, I will definitely be implementing some kind of anti-spam solution with this. Thanks. Mar 17 at 14:09
  • For using my own domain name to generate email aliases, I experienced that 100 aliases would become insufficient rather fast. Why this limit?
    – A. Hersean
    Mar 22 at 15:03
  • You could rephrase your question without mentioning a specific service.
    – A. Hersean
    Mar 22 at 15:05

2 Answers 2

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I would not use a domain you register (your real name and address is linked to it, though you can use whois privacy, it's still linked) as a throwaway account as no one else uses that domain but you so whether you are george@masonbitbyte.dev or borge@masonbitbyte.dev or forge@masonbitbyte.dev, everyone knows its you. Plus if you use catch alls then you will constantly be getting spam emails from all the various accounts.

You could pick up a domain specifically as a throwaway and then use the first part of the @domain to record where you registered the account. So for gmail you might be gmail@domain.com for amazon maybe amazon@domain.com and so on. That way if you start getting a lot of weird phishing emails going to amazon@domain.com you know it was a leak from amazon, and so on.

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Most bad guys are lazy and use massive lists to spam that they acquire from wherever.

The advantage of using an alias address is when one of the places you put an alias into is compromised or "sharing" your email address, depending on your mail server options, you can limit where you allow messages to that address to arrive from or even just automatically delete emails to that address.

This is superior to email tags. Email tags use the format username+tag@example.com, and the receiving mail server will ignore then +tag part and deliver to the inbox of username@example.com. It is trivial for a spammer to remove the tags even on a large list, so you give up your full email address to the spammer, whereas an alias is a full email address and cannot externally be determined to be an alias.

It is exceptionally difficult to use email and be completely anonymous, especially since ICANN and registrars rapidly de-register domains that are discovered to have been created with fictitious names and addresses, so this is not an anonymization tool unless you have a domain that many different users use, because then to be specifically identified you user data must be somehow discernible from other users of the domain.

Note that using third-party mail providers as anonymizers comes with the risk that you are discovered to be violating their Terms of Service and they immediately close the account without any recourse.

You may discover that 100 aliases is not that many compared to how many different accounts you are setting up with a unique alias. This can be simplified by combining aliases and tags. If you use the format myforumaccount+stackexchange@example.com for every forum account, and later find spam being delivered to myforumaccount@example.com, then you can create the alias mynewforumaccount@example.com, but you have to change addresses with all forums using that alias plus tag, which is more effort than just changing one alias per account.

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