How to create a free anonymous email account?

Anton P. | April 6, 2021

A free anonymous email account might be the answer if you want to dissociate your email correspondence from your identity. Thus, it means that your personal information is in no way linked to your email. This goal might prove difficult as many providers require personal details such as your name or telephone number. However, some options facilitate anonymous email communications. Thus, let’s explore services that accommodate independent journalists, whistleblowers, or people attempting to circumvent censorship.

Why you might need a free anonymous email account

The purpose of a free anonymous email account is to deliver untraceable email messages. You likely use one of the popular providers like Gmail or Outlook for either personal or business communication. Emailing might be an archaic and somewhat outdated practice if compared to instant messaging. Nevertheless, it is still central during many procedures, such as registering for services, receiving official documents, or payment details. In most cases, your email serves as an account recovery mechanism for sites and apps you use. All this possibly personally-identifiable information ends up linked to your email account.

Furthermore, the registration process for almost any popular emailing service strips you of any chance of remaining anonymous. You might need to provide your name, secondary email address, and telephone number. As long as you link your new inbox to any of these details, you are no longer anonymous.

Thus, your email address is a direct link to you, and that is not necessarily a good thing. Our digital lives are not private by default, as tracking happens as a feature. You need to perform a series of actions to obtain a satisfactory level of privacy and anonymity online. When it comes to creating a free anonymous email account, people worldwide have exercised this decision due to varying reasons:

  • Obviating oppressive regimes that silence free speech.
  • Preventing email providers from reading your messages or metadata attached to them.
  • Contacting journalists and sharing vital intel or controversial stories.
  • Reporting crimes or illegal behavior to authorities without compromising your safety.
  • Escaping surveillance governments employ to track their citizens.
  • Avoiding online tracking by third parties and advertisers.

Is email encryption enough?

Encryption of components in your inbox ideally means that no one besides you and the recipient can read your messages. However, while email providers might secure communications from external sources, they have the right to read them.

For instance, Gmail does not necessarily read your emails. It scans them for relevant information, and these insights might influence the ads you see. Additionally, the email-scanning process fuels the autofill feature, namely Smart Compose. However, Gmail makes encryption possible for its G Suite for Enterprise and G Suite for Education plans users.

However, there are email service providers that seem to focus on providing more private communications. Tutanota is one of them, and it supports end-to-end encryption whenever possible. Thus, this means that only the senders and recipients have access to their email correspondence. Sadly, this does not necessarily mean that it allows you to create a free anonymous email account. While encryption is always a welcome addition, it does not precisely guarantee anonymity online.

Options for creating a free anonymous email account

Here are the options for creating a free anonymous email account. This section includes different email providers and general tips for being more anonymous online.

Tutanota

Tutanota is a privacy-focused email service based in Germany. One of its greatest strengths is the end-to-end encryption it supplies to protect users’ emails. Encryption also extends to information in email subject lines, contact lists, and calendars.

It does a lot to work as a free anonymous email as well. For instance, it does not require phone numbers and strips IP addresses from emails. Additional protective measures prevent images from loading automatically. This default feature prevents email tracking via embedded pixels that might give away your approximate location. Finally, Tutanota already supports anonymous payment options for donations and plans to make them an option for regular payments.

Guerrilla Mail

Guerrilla Mail lets you create a disposable temporary email address. There is no need to register, as the service automatically generates an email address. Anyone can send messages to it, but they will expire after one hour. In fact, Guerilla Mail works by supplying two email addresses: the actual address and the scrambled version. The latter is the one you give to people who will send you email messages.

While this service might be enough for a one-off communication, it is unlikely to become anything more than that. Additionally, the creators of Guerilla Mail have also emphasized that their focus is not supplying free anonymous email accounts. It is an anti-spam solution instead, as proved by the events in 2013. A stressed Harvard student used Guerilla Mail to send in a bomb threat to his university. Despite using Tor as an additional precaution, the student ended up arrested. Thus, Guerilla Mail is not about supplying free anonymous email accounts. However, it might work to reduce spam in your overflowing inbox.

Secure Email

Secure Email is a service that lets you encrypt your emails. It does not require any personal information to create a free anonymous email account. Furthermore, it does not log your IP address. According to their creators, they offer 2FA and end-to-end encryption to guarantee private communications. All email traffic travels through an SSL encrypted connection as well. Thus, Secure Email seems suitable for making conversations private. As a bonus, you can also send anonymous SMS messages.

Honorable mentions

  • Mailinator lets you create a disposable email account. It has a sleek user interface and allows you to quickly send anonymous messages.
  • PrivateMail supports both free and paid email accounts. They guarantee end-to-end security using SSL and G/PGP encryption.
  • AnonymousEmail lets you send an unlimited number of anonymous emails. However, it specializes in one-way communication, meaning you won’t be able to receive a response.
  • CyberAtlantis is also a service supporting one-way communication. Thus, you will be able to send anonymous email messages. It won’t include your IP address or any other personal information.

Get more privacy and anonymity in Gmail

You can secure your personal Gmail account by using a third-party extension (such as FlowCrypt). To make it more anonymous, you could create an account that does not feature your personal information. You might also need to supply a phone number, but, if necessary, use a burner phone. However, Gmail is not ideal for creating free anonymous email accounts. The chances are that your communications will still be associated with you in one way or another.

Use a VPN

Your IP address gives away your approximate location, and it could be visible via emails. Of course, many email service providers prevent email messages from carrying the IP address of the sender. Instead, the email messages typically feature the IP address of the provider. Nevertheless, this might not always be the case, or emails might be vulnerable to tracking pixels.

Thus, you can use a VPN service to mask your IP address with one belonging to remote servers. In general, a VPN is an excellent solution for surfing more anonymously online. Therefore, even if you create a free anonymous email account, you will need other measures to prevent accidental leaks.

Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

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