Every day we use email to communicate with our colleagues, friends, and family. Usually, we never give privacy a second thought when writing out a quick email. But, there are times when it is an absolute need to send an anonymous Email. If the information got out it would be compromising, embarrassing, or even dangerous.
Chances are, you don’t need to send 100% of your emails anonymously, but when the need arises you’ll want to know how to do it.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to send an anonymous email. Maybe you want to declare your love for someone discreetly. Or perhaps you’re a journalist or an informant and need to tip someone off without arousing suspicion.
There are free online services that allow you to send an anonymous email. Alternatively, you can use a burner email account and a VPN to protect your identity.
It is easy to send an email without revealing your identity. Here are several methods for how to send an anonymous email.
What is Anonymous Email?
In our digital world, almost every facet of our lives is out in the open. Unless you take the extra steps to protect and defend your privacy.
Email is something we use every single day. We spend hours in our inboxes and often share personal information we want to keep private.
An anonymous email account is a must-have for situations like:
- Journalists who need to communicate privately with a source
- People who are concerned about privacy and feel the need to go anonymous
- Telling the truth, or whistleblowing, without a connection to your identity
Anonymous email gives you the ability to send an email that can’t trace back to you. It won’t contain any personal identifying information.
There are multiple methods of achieving this:
- Sending emails through a proxy server, so your location is invisible.
- Omitting personal information, like the identity of the user, the reply address, or the message time stamp
- Using fake contact information when creating a general email account to mask your identity
Still, anonymous email accounts can be used for less than upstanding purposes. Like a hacker using an anonymous email address to send a malicious email containing a virus.
These emails ,which are also called phishing, will contain a link that’ll install a virus or malware on the user’s computer to gain sensitive information. I know you won’t do this, but there can be some negative associations built into anonymous emailing.
Why Use Anonymous Email?
Anonymous email affords you levels of security and privacy you can’t get anywhere else. You might not need it 24/7, but it does have certain benefits.
1. Freedom of Expression
Sometimes you need to convey information to a person, but don’t want to compromise your identity. It could be something that’ll ruin the relationship, or you’d like to remain anonymous nonetheless.
2. Hide From Spammers
You could use a throwaway email account whenever you enter your email anywhere online. This can help to isolate your identity and any spam emails from your main inbox. But, you’ll still have a link back to your true identity.
With an anonymous email account, you can create aliases and segment your account to keep your information safe from spammers.
3. Send Private Confidential Information
If you have sensitive information you want to send to the authorities without revealing your true identity, then you can use anonymous email for this purpose.
You can easily send confidential information without fear of your identity being brought to light.
4. Whistleblowing Purposes
Whistleblowing can be a scary and stressful situation. With anonymous email, you can help to escape any harassment and persecution that might come with.
Think of it as giving an anonymous phone tip from a pay phone. Using anonymous email can be a way to whistleblow about any wrongdoing while protecting your identity.
How Does Anonymous Email Work?
There are many ways to send emails at varying degrees of anonymity.
The basic method involves entering a fake name and personal information when creating a Hotmail, Outlook, or Gmail account. This approach won’t get you complete privacy, and you’ll need a personal phone number to verify your account. But, it’ll grant you more privacy than your standard account.
The completely anonymous approach involves using a private email service. These tools and services need minimal personal information to get started.
Plus, they’re often equipped with features like:
- Two-way email encryption
- Hidden IP address, or IP address blocker
- Email password protect
- Automated email deletion or expiration
How to Send Anonymous Email?
1. Use a Burner Email Account and a VPN
Using a webmail account like Gmail to send an anonymous email is a great option. You can sign up for a Gmail account without providing any identifying information. Afterward, you can use that email address as a burner account.
Furthermore, when you send an anonymous email from Gmail, the originating IP address (where the email came from) in the email header is a Google server address, rather than your IP address. The change in IP address gives you another level of anonymity.
If someone were to trace the IP address in the email header, it would only reveal a Google server location. The server isn’t neccessarily close to your location either, but it is worth covering your tracks.
With that said, your actual IP address is stored on Google’s systems. So, if the government or any other authority ever came knocking and asked for your location, Google could provide it.
Increase Your Email Anonymity Using a VPN
You can increase your privacy with the addition of a virtual private network (VPN).
Once you connect to the VPN, your IP address is secure. When you send an email from your Gmail account, there are two differences:
- If you trace the IP address, the Google server will not appear near your location, and
- If the government requests your IP address, Google cannot provide your IP address, only that of the VPN service.
Regarding the latter point, that is why it is vital to use a paid VPN service that doesn’t log your connection details. If there is a log, they can turn it over. A free VPN is more likely to keep a log.
2. Use Your Email Client and a VPN
The second method for sending an anonymous email is using an email client installed on your system. There are three steps to take to make sure you remain anonymous:
- Sign up for a throwaway email address (like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, GMX, or similar)
- Install Thunderbird or an alternative free email client
- Install and connect to a VPN service
All you have to do is fire up your VPN and make sure your computer is using a remote IP address. Then, send an email via your email client using the throwaway account. Now the email header will show your VPN IP address instead of your originating IP address in the email header.
AnonEmail is an anonymous email service by AnonyMouse. The AnonEmail service allows you to send anonymous emails using a series of nodes. When you send your email using the service, it bounces through several random nodes, making it impossible to trace back to your IP address.
AnonEmail is easy to use. You fill in your recipient, the subject, and a short plain-text message, then “Send Anonymously.” Contrary to many other services, AnonEMail does not appear to log your IP address. When testing, it didn’t show or trace my IP address. However, I would strongly advise you not to send anything sensitive or illegal.
As an extra security measure, AnonEmail will wait for an unknown period before sending your email. The reason being that if further distances you from the email, disassociating you from the send time, send location, and any potential geographic presumptions based on timezones.
4. Cyber Atlantis
Cyber Atlantis is another free anonymous email service that strips out your IP address. The Cyber Atlantis service also offers PGP encryption. This means as well as sending your email without an IP address, you can also encrypt the content of the email before sending it.
The content of the email is then completely secure. Only the owner of the public key can unlock the message content with a private key. The use of public key encryption could have an unintended consequence. For instance, if the encryption key isn’t widely used, and has only been distributed to a handful of people, the anonymous email recipient could attempt to figure out the sender.
If you need a completely secure, anonymous, and two-way email service, ProtonMail is the answer. ProtonMail has a long history of offering secure email services, and millions of people rely on them to keep their communication private and anonymous at all times.
Some core ProtonMail features include:
- End-to-End Encryption: Messages are not only encrypted when they’re sent from ProtonMail servers. But all stored messages are encrypted as well. Without access to the appropriate ProtonMail account, no one can access your messages.
- Private User Data: ProtonMail’s encryption process, which uses an encryption key on your computer, meaning even the system administrators at ProtonMail can’t access your messages. On the downside, this means they can’t recover your account for you. On the upside, it means they can’t provide your messages to any governing authority either.
- Open Source Cryptography: Since ProtonMail uses open-source cryptographic libraries, you can be sure there are no “back doors” available for anyone to access your emails. That includes both system administrators or hackers.
If you regularly send two-way encrypted emails, you should consider signing up for a ProtonMail account and using that as your primary address.
There are a variety of different tools and services you can use to send an anonymous email. Some have powerful encryption protocols to secure your messages, while others do a great job of allowing you to send one-off anonymous messages.
Services like these we have mentioned above do different things for you. They allow you to send and track your anonymous email, send encrypted and password protected emails, create account aliases, and even have your emails deleted after a set period of time. The method you choose for managing and sending anonymous emails depends upon your needs and privacy concerns.
Hopefully, you’re better equipped to navigate the world of anonymous email. Also you can easily protect your privacy and personal information from falling into the wrong hands. If you face any especial problem please share your questions and concerns in the comments below. Do not hesitate!