Giving Users Some Privacy Back with E-Mail Aliases: A Personal Take

2 min read

451 words

I've been thinking a lot about email privacy lately. It seems like every website wants our email addresses these days, especially for newsletters. Don't get me wrong, I love a good newsletter, but with all the data breaches and spam out there, I can't help but feel a bit uneasy every time I type in my email address.

That's when I stumbled upon the idea of email aliases. It's not a new concept, but it's one that I think deserves more attention.

What Are Email Aliases?

Simply put, an email alias is a forwarding address. It's not your real email, but it sends messages to your real inbox. The cool thing is, you can create different aliases for different services and delete them if they start getting spammy.

Why I Think They're Important

For me, it's about having a bit more control. If a company I've subscribed to suddenly starts flooding my inbox or, worse, if their database gets hacked, I can just delete that alias. No muss, no fuss.

But it's not just about avoiding spam. It's about feeling a bit more secure in an online world that often feels like it's spinning out of control.

A Small Step I Took

I recently started my own little newsletter (yeah, I know, another one). But when I did, I decided to add a small note under the sign-up field:

We will never send you spam. Promise. 🤞 If you prefer not to give us your real email, which is perfectly understandable, use one of the popular email alias services like DuckDuckGo Email Protection, Firefox Relay or Apple's Hide My Email?.

It's not much, but it felt good to acknowledge that privacy matters.

Something to Consider

Of course, using an email alias service means trusting another company with your email flow. The ones I mentioned are run by bigger companies with solid security teams, which might be reassuring for some. But it's always worth thinking about who you're trusting with your data.

Final Thoughts

I'm not trying to preach or tell anyone what to do. I just think that in a world where we're constantly asked to hand over our personal information, it's worth considering ways to claw back a bit of privacy.

I'd love to see more websites and newsletters acknowledge this. It doesn't have to be a big thing - just a small nod to say, "Hey, we get it. Privacy matters." I don’t have data but my thesis is that this might even increase the newsletter subscriptions because users might feel more valued by the newsletter provider.

Thank you very much for reading,