Hotmail Aliases Let You Create Disposable E-mail Addresses

Last Updated Feb 7, 2011 12:26 AM EST

You're savvy enough not to use your primary e-mail address to sign up for online offers, trial software, and shopping. Those e-mails are little more than spam magnets, so in the past, you might have created an elaborate set of disposable e-mail accounts to shield yourself from the potential junk mail. Hotmail has just made all that subterfuge obsolete.

Effective immediately, you can now create e-mail aliases which are completely different than your primary e-mail address. When you create this alias, you can specify where these mails should go, so you can automatically file them in a subfolder of your choice.

This is better than the previous Hotmail solution (and, I should point out, the current Gmail solution), which was to add a plus sign and extra characters to your primary e-mail address. If your address was, for example, you could create for all your newsletters. But that address didn't fool anybody, least of all the bots. It's too easy to scrape away the extra bits to reveal your actual e-mail address.

So now, you don't have to tie your alias to your main e-mail at all, making it truly untraceable back to you. Microsoft will allow you to create 5 aliases per year, and a 15 aliases in total.

To create an alias, point at the Inbox heading and click the gear icon. Then choose Create a Hotmail alias. That's it.

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