• November 30, 2021

How to Avoid Spam—Using Disposable Contact Information

Wherever we go on the web, we’re asked to sign up for new accounts—for streaming platforms, app trials, delivery services, and so on—and that puts a strain on the email accounts and cell numbers we use every day.

Even when these services you sign up for are legit, you don’t necessarily want a deluge of promotional offers, feature updates, and other miscellany filling up your inbox. Then there are the services that you’d rather just try out first, before you start sharing anything personal like an email address or phone number.

For all these reasons, a disposable email address or phone number (or both) can be very handy. If a particular service starts spamming or robocalling you, you can just close down the temporary contact and walk away.

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When it comes to email addresses, you’ve got a number of free or freemium options to pick from—email addresses don’t cost much to set up and maintain. With the more high-maintenance cell numbers you’re going to need to pay, but it doesn’t have to be very much, as we’ll explain. Here are some of our favorite options for both.

Disposable Email Addresses

Sign in with Apple

Screenshot: David Nield via Apple

If you’re using Apple devices and apps, the option to use disposable email addresses is already baked in—as long as the app or website you’re signing up for offers a Sign in with Apple button. You’ll register with your Apple ID, but you’ll see the option to Share My Email or Hide My Email depending on how much you trust the service.

Choose to share your email, and the app or website gets the email address associated with your Apple ID. Choose to hide your email, and Apple generates a disposable email address for you, which relays messages to your main address. From an iPhone, iPad or Mac you can disable this forwarding at any time, or disconnect yourself from the newly created account completely.

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