Want to browse and communicate privately online without revealing your identity? An anonymous email account is the solution.
Anonymous email services remove all identifying information from the emails you send and receive. This prevents companies, hackers and even government agencies from linking the account back to you.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain:
- The growing importance of email privacy
- How anonymous accounts protect you
- The top anonymous email providers
- Step-by-step instructions to create an anonymous address
- Best practices to stay secure when you start sending private emails
By the end, you‘ll have the knowledge to set up and manage an anonymous email account to take control of your privacy in 2022 and beyond.
Why Email Privacy Matters More Than Ever
Let‘s start by examining why email anonymity is so critical in today‘s digital world.
Our inboxes contain a wealth of personal information. According to a Pew Research survey, 89% of online Americans use email. We sign up for services, communicate with friends and family, and store sensitive documents like tax records in our inboxes.
Email providers have full access. Companies like Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo can view your emails, contacts, calendar appointments – everything in your account. Their privacy policies allow them to analyze this data and share it with partners.
Tracking is prevalent. Did you know every email you send and receive contains trackers? Marketers use these invisible pixels to log when you open an email, what device you use, and where you‘re located.
Your identity can be exposed. Simply opening a tracked newsletter ties that account to your identity. Email providers and recipients see your IP address, revealing your approximate location and internet service provider.
Surveillance is rampant. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked documents showing the agency‘s PRISM program accessed private email data from Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech giants.
Governments request user data. Email providers regularly receive government demands to hand over users‘ private information. Google fielded nearly 60,000 requests from authorities in 2020 alone.
Hackers target inboxes. Your email login credentials are prime targets for cyber criminals. Data breaches also expose personal info. Nearly 5 billion records were leaked just in 2021.
Spam is a nuisance. The average office worker receives over 120 spam emails per day. Not only is this annoying, but it can entice you to click malicious links that install malware.
It‘s clear the email privacy risks are serious. Now let‘s look at how an anonymous email account can protect you.
Benefits of Anonymous Email Accounts
An anonymous email service hides your real identity by removing trackers, IP addresses and other identifying information from your incoming and outgoing messages. This provides many key privacy advantages:
Avoid targeted advertising based on your email activity
Keep your anonymous hobbies or interests secret from email providers
Prevent governments from tying your communications to your identity
Stop companies from compiling detailed profiles about you for marketing
Maintain separate personal and professional inboxes without mixing contexts
Keep work and life separated for better organization
Ensure your anonymous tips, complaints and leaks can‘t betray your identity
Protect your main email inbox from spammers by using burner addresses
Reduce risk of devastating identity theft if emails are breached or hacked
Defend yourself against unwarranted surveillance of your private data
Circulate criticism and controversial political speech without reprisal
Keep intimate conversations and health details private from snooping eyes
Stop internet service providers and WiFi networks from logging your activity
Avoid price discrimination based on your purchasing history and wealth
Prevent being denied employment, insurance or lending due to your inbox contents
Share confidential information without fear of exposure via email leaks
Sleep better knowing your communications aren‘t being data mined!
Anonymous email services empower you to freely communicate sensitive topics without risking your privacy. Next, let‘s explore the top providers to use.
6 Best Anonymous Email Services of 2022
Many anonymous email options exist, but not all are created equal. I‘ve spotlighted the top services of 2022 based on security, features and ease of use:
ProtonMail is the most trusted provider available today. They offer automatic end-to-end encryption for all accounts by default. This means only you and the recipient can view email contents – not even ProtonMail themselves.
Based in Switzerland, ProtonMail requires no personal information to sign up. They have a strict no logs policy and anonymize user data. Apps for all platforms make ProtonMail accessible and convenient.
The free plan provides 500 MB encrypted storage. Paid plans with more features start at €4 per month. As the gold standard for privacy, ProtonMail is my #1 recommendation.
Tutanota is another highly secure encrypted email service. They‘re based in Germany which has strong privacy protection laws. One advantage over ProtonMail is Tutanota provides 1 GB inbox space even on their free plan.
Much like ProtonMail, Tutanota needs no personal details to create an account. All user data is end-to-end encrypted. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Linux make Tutanota easy to use anywhere.
Premium paid plans unlock added features and aliases. But the free tier still enables sending and receiving private encrypted emails. Overall, Tutanota is an excellent private email choice.
For added privacy, CTemplar is a great option. Based in privacy-friendly Iceland, CTemplar offers secure end-to-end encrypted communication by default.
One unique feature CTemplar provides is stealth mode. This hides the fact you‘re using CTemplar from recipients and third parties. Outgoing mail appears to be from another provider like Gmail or Outlook.
With 1GB free storage, zero personal info needed to sign up, and apps for all platforms, CTemplar makes anonymous email simple. Paid plans add aliases, custom domains and more useful features.
Posteo is an anonymous email provider located in Berlin, Germany. All Posteo customers get SSL-encrypted mailboxes for private communications.
Posteo collects only the minimum information required for billing and deletes it when you close your account. They publish transparency reports showing exactly what government requests for data they receive.
The free Posteo plan allows 500 MB inbox space and 1 alias. Paid tiers unlock 10 GB storage, multiple aliases, custom domains and other benefits. Integrations with Thunderbird make Posteo easy to use.
Mailfence emphasizes cybersecurity and privacy. Based in Belgium, Mailfence uses industry-standard 256-bit AES and end-to-end OpenPGP encryption to secure emails and data.
They collect very limited metadata and anonymize any usage data they retain. Mailfence also provides digital signatures on all outgoing mail to prevent tampering or spoofing.
The 500 MB free plan allows you to try Mailfence with basic privacy protections. Paid tiers unlock more storage, aliases, custom domains and productivity features like calendars and contacts.
StartMail is a Netherlands-based email provider with a focus on usability. The web interface will feel familiar for gmail users when sending and receiving private communications.
In addition to standard encryption, StartMail enables optional end-to-end PGP encryption for maximum protection. Disposable anonymous inboxes and unlimited aliases help avoid spam and remain private.
Paid plans start at €5 per month for 10 GB inbox space, subfolders, aliases and more. But try StartMail free for 7 days to test their simple secure email experience.
This covers the top options available in 2022. Now let‘s walk through creating your own anonymous address.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Anonymous Email
The process of getting an anonymous email account will be fairly consistent across different providers. For this example, we‘ll use the industry leader ProtonMail.
Step 1: Visit ProtonMail.com
Go to ProtonMail‘s website at protonmail.com and click "Get Started" to begin the signup process.
Step 2: Select a Plan
First choose one of ProtonMail‘s pricing plans. I recommend starting with the free plan if you just need basic private email features.
Click the "Free Plan" button to continue to the next step.
Step 3: Enter Account Details
Now provide your desired username and password for your new anonymous email address.
Your username will become your private email address, like
Pick a strong randomly-generated password you don‘t use elsewhere for security.
Step 4: Confirm Account
Double check the username and password you entered are correct. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
Click "Create Account" when ready to finalize making your new anonymous email address!
Step 5: Verify via Email
ProtonMail will send a confirmation link to the email you provided. Open it up and click the verification link inside to activate your account.
This proves you own the email address and completes the signup process.
Step 6: Enable 2-Factor Authentication
For optimal security, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) in your account settings.
You can get verification codes through an authenticator app like Authy or Google Authenticator. This adds a critical extra layer of protection.
And that‘s it! Just those 6 simple steps will get you set up with a secure anonymous inbox through ProtonMail.
Common Anonymous Email Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you have your anonymous address ready, be sure to avoid these common operational security mistakes users often make:
Reusing the same password across accounts – Make sure to use a unique password for each anonymous email provider to limit damage if one is compromised.
Sending identifying details from your anonymous address – Never include sensitive info not previously shared publicly like your phone number or physical address.
Saving contacts using real names – Use generic labels like "Friend 1" instead of actual contact names, in case your account is hacked.
Letting inboxes pile up with unread mail – Check and delete your anonymous accounts regularly so they don‘t become a liability if exposed.
Opening emails from unknown senders – Be wary of phishing attempts targeting your anonymous address, especially if used for activism.
Using anonymous and personal accounts on the same device – Keep your anonymous and real-name accounts on separate devices for improved compartmentalization.
Forgoing two-factor authentication – 2FA is essential to protect against password breaches or SIM swaps. Don‘t skip this step.
Linking payment info directly to your anonymous account – Always mask payment details when purchasing anything tied to your anonymous address.
Using a personal VPN or ISP with your anonymous account – Your VPN/ISP can still link usage back to you. Use public WiFi instead.
Avoiding these common errors will ensure you stay secure and anonymous over the long-term when using your private email account.
Best Practices for Anonymous Email Success
To get the most privacy and security from your new anonymous address, keep these tips in mind:
Use a unique password – Have different passwords for each anonymous email account to limit risks. Use a password manager to keep them secure.
Delete emails after reading – Don‘t let messages pile up indefinitely in your anonymous inbox. Delete them after reading for better security.
Never reply from real address – If contacted through your anonymous address, always reply using the alias to avoid linking it to you.
Enable email encryption – For ultimate security, install PGP software like Gpg4win to encrypt messages end-to-end.
Mask financial details – When purchasing anything associated with your anonymous address, always use one-time virtual cards or cryptocurrency.
Use different aliases for sites – Create a unique anonymous address alias for each website to compartmentalize risks.
Route emails through VPNs – Connect to a trustworthy VPN or Tor before accessing your anonymous account to hide your IP address.
Check for breaches – Frequently search sites like HaveIBeenPwned to ensure your anonymous inbox credentials haven‘t been exposed.
Back up emergency codes – Save any account recovery codes from your provider in case you lose password access.
Don‘t log into public WiFi – Public hotspots have man-in-the-middle attacks. Only access your anonymous account on verified private networks.
Following best practices like these will help you use your anonymous email safely and effectively.
Take Your Privacy Back with Anonymous Email
As email surveillance, tracking and identity theft run rampant, asserting your right to privacy is crucial. Following this guide will empower you to:
Sign up for an anonymous email account from a trusted privacy-focused provider
Use your new anonymous address to send and receive private communications
Avoid common mistakes that put anonymity at risk
Employ best practices for managing your anonymous inbox securely
Take control of your data and online identity again
So choose a provider that aligns with your needs, set up your anonymous email address in just minutes, and start enjoying private, untraceable communication today!